Justia Products Liability Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Louisiana Supreme Court
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The case involves Angela Pickard and others who sued Amazon.com, Inc. after a battery charger purchased from Amazon's online marketplace malfunctioned, causing a fire that resulted in the death of Archie Pickard. The charger was sold by a third-party seller, Jisell, not Amazon. However, Jisell used Amazon's optional service, "Fulfillment by Amazon," which meant that the product was stored in an Amazon warehouse and delivered by Amazon. The plaintiffs claimed that Amazon was liable under the Louisiana Products Liability Act and for negligent undertaking.The case was initially heard in the Western District Court of Louisiana. Amazon filed a motion for summary judgment, and in response, the court certified two questions to the Supreme Court of Louisiana: whether Amazon was a "seller" under Louisiana products-liability law, and under what circumstances Amazon could be liable for injuries sustained by the purchaser of a defective product based on a theory of negligent undertaking.The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, the operator of an online marketplace is a "seller" of third-party products sold in its marketplace when the operator did not hold title to the product but had physical custody of the product in its distribution warehouse and controlled the process of the transaction and delivery. The court also held that an operator may be liable for injuries if, subject to standards established by the court’s precedent, the operator assumed a duty to identify and remove unreasonably dangerous products from its marketplace. The court applied Section 324A of the Restatement of Torts Second to determine if an operator of an online marketplace assumed a duty owed by a third-party seller and is liable for any damages caused by the breach of that duty. View "ANGELA PICKARD VS. AMAZON.COM, INC." on Justia Law

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The Louisiana Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine the preclusive effect of a written compromise agreement. The agreement was executed by a tort victim in settlement of an action for damages resulting from occupational exposure to toxic materials. At issue was the effect of the compromise on a subsequent survival action brought by the La. C.C. art. 2315.1 beneficiaries of the tort victim, who contracted mesothelioma and died after entering into the compromise. Finding the intent of the parties to the compromise to be clear, unambiguous and unequivocal, and the elements of the res judicata plea satisfied, the Supreme Court concluded the compromise should have been accorded preclusive effect. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court judgment that declined to give res judicata effect to the compromise and sustained the exception of res judicata with respect to the survival action. View "Joseph v. Huntington Ingalls Inc. et al." on Justia Law