News & Insight

Bowie & Jensen’s Gina Harasti Successfully Resolves Case Filed in Federal Court Against Online Retailer and Several Foreign Companies

Gina Harasti successfully resolved a case filed in federal court against an online retailer and several foreign companies, including third party sellers and manufacturers of a generator and lithium ion battery sold on the retailer’s internet platform.  The matter stems from a house fire in 2018 when the generator malfunctioned while charging for the first time. While the current 4th circuit case law in Erie Insurance Company v. E-Bay, Inc., et al., 925 F.3d 135 (4th Cir. 2019), protects third party sellers from liability of dangerous products sold on their websites, the statement by Judge Diana Motz in her concurring opinion that, “[D]isruption of the traditional supply chain and public policy consideration in the circumstances of modern day life may lead to certifying the question of the scope of [such] liability to the Maryland Court of Appeals,” leaves open the possibility of change in the law.  Movement in other states, including California and Pennsylvania to name two, where liability was found in providing the internet platform for the sale of dangerous products by third party sellers, increases the chances of a future change in law.  Providing key assistance on the case were Matthew Hjortsberg and Jason Brino.