The Louisiana Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether Amazon can potentially be held liable for a defective laptop battery sold on its website that blew up in an Amazon customer’s lap. Amazon claims that because it did not manufacture the battery and because it was “sold by” a third party on Amazon.com that it bears no responsibility for its customer’s injuries. The battery was supplied by a Chinese entity whose Amazon presence has now disappeared and has not been located.
HHK is arguing that Amazon guaranteed that it would take certain safety precautions for the benefit of its customers, and negligently failed to live up to those guarantees. Had Amazon done as it promised, this laptop battery would never have injured the victim in this case. In addition, the proliferation of these products made and sold by Chinese companies on Amazon is bad for business because it puts American manufacturers and retailers at a competitive disadvantage against Chinese companies. At the same time, this also puts consumers at a disadvantage when they are injured by a defective product because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to locate and bring a Chinese manufacturer to justice.
The District Court and First Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Amazon. Now, it will be up to the Louisiana Supreme Court to decide if Amazon can be held liable for its negligence for letting this defective product injure this customer. You can read HHK’s Writ Application (Docket #: 2022-C-0068) here: Plaintiff’s Writ Application.