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Pennsylvania product liability case challenges online marketplace

What do you do when a product fails to meet your expectations? In the days of pioneers, someone with a broken wagon axle would have been out of luck and have to fend for themselves. In the 21st century, it is often as simple to solve this problem as it is to return a product for a refund or an exchange. But what if the incident caused more damage than breaking a customer's trust?

A Pennsylvania woman is in a long search for justice after a dog collar snapped apart, flinging a piece back that blinded her in one eye. As with many consumers of products like this, she bought it through a third-party online marketplace.

Outfits such as this one have hid behind a specific law to avoid liability, but those days may be coming to an end. The law in question is the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which online forums have argued protects them from the problems caused by products sold by vendors on them.

A federal appeals court has ruled that online sites are more involved in the sales process than simply posting available products, and are therefore, possibly liable for these products' problems.

Beyond product liability, this new trend may also make online sellers responsible for weeding out counterfeit products, which may be more likely to damage customers' health and property.

Anyone with a potential case for product liability has a right to sue the responsible parties. An attorney may be helpful in determining who they are and the best way to seek damages to help people recover.

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