California court holds Amazon liable for defective product

A court of appeals in California ruled that Amazon is not exempt from liability for a defective product sold by a third party seller on its platform. Angela Bolger, the plaintiff in the case, had bought a replacement laptop computer battery on Amazon. Amazon charged Bolger for the purchase, retrieved the laptop battery in an Amazon warehouse, and prepared the battery for shipment in Amazon packaging. The battery exploded a few months later and left Bolger with injuries on her thighs. Bolger sued Amazon alleging causes of action for strict and negligence product liability. The court of appeals decided that Amazon had a central role in all steps involving the purchase, even though the battery was sold by a third party seller. The ruling overturned a first instance court decision that shielded Amazon from liability because it acted as an Internet service provider.