Amazon, the popular online shopping company, recently lost a case in the United States Appeals Court for failure to appropriately notify customers about a known defect in a hoverboard it sold. As a result, it may be forced to pay damages to those harmed by the defective hoverboard, which Amazon knew sometimes could catch fire or explode, but failed to adequately notify those who already purchased the hoverboard.
The case involves a woman from Tennessee who purchased one of these hoverboards (a sort of motorized skateboard powered by a battery pack) for her children from Amazon. The hoverboard in question suddenly caught fire, which spread and trapped her children, forcing them to jump from a second-story window to escape. The blaze also ultimately destroyed the family’s $1 million home.
When it was discovered that the hoverboard (which is manufactured by a Chinese company unrelated to Amazon) had this defect, Amazon did not take appropriate steps to notify any of the 250,000 American customers who had already purchased the hoverboard. The most the company did was send an email to affected customers citing “news reports of safety issues” with respect to the lithium-ion batteries inside the hoverboard. It did not notify customers about the hoverboard’s risk of exploding, nor did it mention that Amazon had stopped all sales of hoverboards due to the dangers associated with the product.
Amazon argued that it held no duty of care towards its customers because they did not manufacture the product, and thus it was not their responsibility to notify their customers about the dangers associated with the hoverboard. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit disagreed, saying that Amazon should have done more to inform customers. As a result, Fox can now seek monetary damages from Amazon.
If you have been injured by a defective product, it is important to contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney who can advise you of potential legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at Levine & Slavit, PLLC have over 60 years of experience representing clients in personal injury actions. With law offices conveniently located in Long Island and New York City, Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County as well as Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (888)-LAW-8088 or fill out our contact form.