Amazon will have to compensate for damages caused by a product sold on its marketplace

Amazon will have to compensate for damages caused by a product sold on its marketplace

Finally the platforms are responsible for what they do: a sentence of the California Court of Appeal says it

(Photo by Sebastian Kahnert / picture alliance via Getty Images) by Andrea Monti *

* Cassation lawyer, professor in charge of law of the Order and of public security at the University of Chieti-Pescara

The sentence Bolger vs. Inc., pronounced by the California Court of Appeals last August 13, overturns the first instance verdict and establishes is liable for damages caused by products made available through the site, even if the customer buys from a seller who operates in the marketplace in the "Fulfilled by Amazon" mode.

So (this was the matter of the dispute) the customer who had been hospitalized for two weeks in hospital due to the explosion of a spare battery of a laptop is entitled to seek damages from Jeff Bezos' company.

Amazon's defenses

In the process, Amazon used the classic defenses of the Over the Top (the platforms that "Support" access providers to offer their services), claiming that they are not part of the legal relationship between seller and buyer, that they have "simply" made an infrastructure available and cannot be held responsible for the declarations on the product that come from the actual seller.

The reasons for the ruling

In the nearly fifty-page ruling, the judges of the Californian Court of Appeal contest point by point the defenses of the giant of e-commerce. First of all, they reiterate a principle (which is also valid on this side of the ocean): when an online operator becomes an active part (and, in the case of Amazon, an important one) of the sales process, he cannot "call himself out" if the end customer suffers damage to the person.

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