Products Liability

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Products Liability

PRODUCTS LIABILITY-DOG LEASH Oberdorf vs. Amazon.com, Inc., 219 U.S. App. LEXIS 19982.  Opinion by Roth, Circuit Judge.   On January 12, 2015, Heather Oberdorf returned home from work, put a retractable leash on her dog, and took the dog for a walk.   Unexpectedly, the dog lunged, causing the D-ring on the collar to break and the leash to recoil back and hit Oberdorf’s face and eyeglasses.  As a result, Oberdorf is permanently blind in her left eye.  Oberdorf bought the collar on Amazon.com.  As a result of the accident, she sued Amazon.om, including claims for strict products liability and negligence.   The District Court found that, under Pennsylvania law, Amazon was not liable for Oberdorf’s injuries.  In its opinion, the District Court emphasized that a third-party vendor – rather than Amazon itself – listed the collar on Amazon’s online marketplace and shipped the collar directly to Oberdorf.  Those facts were the basis for the District Court’s two main rulings.  First, the District Court found that Amazon is not subject to strict products liability claims because Amazon is not a “seller” under Pennsylvania law.   Second, the District Court found…