A Warranty Claim by Any Other Name Remains a Warranty Claim – Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Claims Against Aloe Vera Retailer

An Illinois federal court recently reinforced the distinction between a properly plead consumer fraud claim and an express warranty claim merely masquerading as a consumer fraud claim, while granting a defendant’s motion to dismiss.

In Parrott v. Family Dollar, Inc.the plaintiff alleged breach of warranty and consumer fraud claims against Family Dollar, Inc. regarding its aloe vera product. The Hon. Jorge L. Alonso of the Northern District of Illinois unmasked plaintiff’s consumer fraud claim as nothing more than a breach of warranty claim by another name, and subsequently granted defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Continue reading

Third Circuit Holds Online Retailers May Be Liable for Defective Third-Party Products Under Pennsylvania Product Liability Laws

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held that online retailers such as Amazon could be held liable for allegedly defective third-party products sold through its website.
In a 2−1 panel decision in Oberdorf v. Amazon.com, Inc., — F.3d —, 2019 WL 2849153 (3d Cir. July 3, 2019), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s ruling that Amazon was not a “seller” under § 402A of the Restatement Second of Torts, and therefore could be held strictly liable under Pennsylvania products liability law.

Pennsylvania has adopted Restatement Second of Torts § 402A, which “specifically limits strict products liability to ‘sellers’ of products.” Because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet addressed whether an online sales listing service such as Amazon Marketplace qualifies as a “seller” under § 402A, the district court was tasked with predicting what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would decide under Pennsylvania law.

Continue reading