By siding with the plaintiff, the appeals court reversed a lower court's decision on a lawsuit filed by Heather Oberdorf, who was blinded when a retractable dog leash she bought from the website recoiled and hit her face. None of the parties involved in the lawsuit could get in touch with the vendor, The Furry Gang, which has not been actively selling since 201
Oberdorf's lawyer, David Wilk, said it feels "gratifying that the 3rd circuit agreed with [their] argument and recognized that the existing interpretation of product liability law in Pennsylvania was not addressing the reality, the dominance that Amazon has in the marketplace. "
While Amazon does have a first-party retail business, about half of the items it sells come from independent businesses. In 2018, Amazon's first-party sales amounted to $ 117 billion, which while nothing was to cut, is still much smaller than third-party sales that came in at $ 160 billion. It can host a number of products that can not stop business from selling counterfeit products on its website.
We'll likely see a lot more lawsuits against the company, not only because of the Philadelphia appeals court's decision, but also because Amazon is bound to sell more and more independent businesses' products in the future. That said, Oberdorf's case still has to go back to lower court to determine whether the leash that blinded here was truly defective.