Tanenbaum Keale LLP associate Pamela R. Kaplan authored an article for the New Jersey Law Journal on the difficulty in determining whether e-commerce platforms can be treated as a “seller” under the New Jersey Product Liability Act. Kaplan’s article, titled “The Shifting Definition of the ‘Product Seller’: Looking to the Future of E-Commerce Product Liability Claims in New Jersey,” looks at recent decisions involving claims against Amazon.com and how they might shape future product liability claims in New Jersey.

Given the growing number of claims in this area of law, and the fact-intensive elements of these claims, practitioners are looking for guidance from courts or the legislatures that will instill more predictability for consumers, insurers, and e-commerce platforms going forward.

“Ultimately, there is a lot at stake here,” Kaplan wrote. “If platforms such as Amazon.com are deemed to be sellers for purposes of strict product liability, they may have to institute changes in their business models so as not to risk the sea of litigation that can come from being an easily accessible deep pocket for consumers, and these changes are likely to trickle down to consumers.”

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