Commerce in 2019 has a very different look. Uber is changing the way people get around in New Mexico. Air BNB is changing the hotel industry. Amazon has become arguably the world’s largest and most diverse retailer. However, if a consumer has an issue with a product from one of these companies and claims a product liability issue, the parent company claims it is merely facilitating a service and, in Amazon’s case, that it doesn’t actually sell anything and therefore can’t be held liable.
One of the issues with Amazon is that items found to be dangerous may still be available on the company’s website. One example is a sleep mat intended for infants that was found to present a risk of suffocation. If a vendor cannot be held liable for a faulty product the incentive to protect it from liability cases might disappear.
In a recent study the retailer claimed that safety is a top priority but there is evidence that this is not necessarily the case. A motorcycle fatality was linked to a faulty helmet that had been purchased on Amazon. The helmet had previously been declared noncompliant according to U.S. Department of Transportation standards but was still available on the website. It was not removed until authors of the study enquired about it. Amazon settled the liability case for $5,000.
Manufacturers need to be accountable for the safety of their products. While not every eventuality can be predicted, if a product is found to be faulty it should be removed from the marketplace. If it is not promptly removed and further injuries are suffered there should be an avenue for the injured to pursue compensation for product liability issues in New Mexico.