Amazon Cases Show E-Tailer Product Liability Varies By State

By Derek Rajavuori (September 25, 2020, 4:32 PM EDT) -- More than 100 years ago, the New York Court of Appeals issued its now-infamous opinion in MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co.,[1] which ushered American courts into a new age of personal injury jurisprudence.

Writing for the majority, renowned jurist Benjamin Cardozo eliminated the requirement of privity of contract for product-related personal injury actions, effectively allowing a downstream consumer to sue a manufacturer, even though the parties had no contractual relationship.[2]

Over the ensuing century, courts and legislatures expanded, modified and otherwise molded this concept into what practitioners now refer to as the doctrine of product liability. Today, when a consumer alleges...

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