Amazon to Pay People Hurt by Others’ Products

E-commerce giant, Amazon, has announced a policy to compensate you if you suffer injuries or property damage from defective goods sold by others on its US platform. The new policy is aimed at reducing litigation, since consumers have continued to sue the company for liability when merchants sell defective goods on their website.

Before now, you had to work with the seller to file a similar type of claim. Naturally, there was a lot of finger-pointing as both parties debated whose fault it really was when someone buys defective goods on the platform. In 2016, one Pennsylvania woman blamed the retailer for a merchant’s retractable dog leash that caused her blindness once it snapped.

This new policy will see Amazon customer service help sort claims between a customer, the seller, and the insurance provider.

Amazon believes merchants are liable and most courts have agreed with it. However, a California state appellate court ruled last year that they could be liable for goods it stores and ships through its Fulfillment by Amazon program.

From September 1, according to the Amazon, it will pay valid claims of up to $1,000, which comprises no more than 80 percent of injury and damage cases on the platform. These claims will come at zero cost to the sellers. If sellers are unresponsive, the company will offer more help. Amazon believes the company protects it customers and sellers.

In the same breath, the company announced Amazon Insurance Accelerator. It’s a network of insurance providers that sellers can join if they want to. It’ll help sellers get product liability insurance. An updated policy requires merchants to obtain product liability insurance. Amazon itself will not be offering this insurance, according to the company.

While paying claims at $1,000 and less is a commendable start, Amazon is clearly saying it objects to paying $1 million claims for third-party products.

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