Why A Hoverboard Suit Against Amazon Went Up In Flames

Law360 (August 14, 2018, 2:02 PM EDT) -- Should an e-commerce firm be held liable for the defects of every item it sells on its global internet marketplace? In Fox v. Amazon.com Inc.,[1] the plaintiffs argued exactly that, and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee answered with a resounding “no.”

The popularity of self-balancing scooters, commonly known as hoverboards, exploded in late 2015, slowing only when the hoverboards themselves started exploding due to an alleged battery defect. The plaintiffs in Fox bought a hoverboard from a third-party retailer on the Amazon marketplace and, after the hoverboard’s battery allegedly caught fire causing property damage and personal injuries,...

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