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Amazon Hit With U.S. Federal Class-Action Lawsuit After Ignoring Legal Notices Over Fraudulent Products.
Sales of dangerous and potentially deadly fraudulent products continue after legal notice.
By Craig Crosby, Publisher of The Counterfeit Report.
September 2, 2020, Los Angeles, CA – Amazon has been served with a significant class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court (Crosby v. Amazon.com Inc.) as the direct and repeated seller of fraudulent and potentially deadly products.
The lawsuit arose when Amazon chose to ignore two legal notices and continual complaints submitted for hundreds-of-thousands of dangerous, fraudulent Lithium-ion (“Li-ion”) battery cells offered or sold on Amazon. What makes this particularly shocking is that Amazon’s policy prohibits the sale of ALL individual Li-ion cells. Despite its stated policy, Amazon is often the direct seller of the dangerous and potentially deadly items while also allowing third-party sales.
Plaintiff Craig Crosby, who filed the federal court action to put a stop to Amazon’s ongoing nefarious activities, has taken assertive action via this lawsuit to prevent more people from being injured or killed by the sale of these fraudulent and dangerous products on Amazon. Crosby said that the swiftest way to hold Amazon accountable is by hitting them in the area they most care about—their pocketbook. Crosby, the publisher of the global award-winning industry watchdog, The Counterfeit Report, added that consumers should not be deceived into spending good money for harmful products that can injure and kill them while Amazon profits.
Lithium-ion 18650 battery cells (usually called batteries) are a widespread and common power source used in most battery-packs for laptops, cameras, power tools, toys, and hoverboards, and individually in flashlights, e-cigarette, and vape devices. Seven-thousand individual 18650 cells power a Tesla automobile. All individual 18650 Li-ion battery cells with a capacity of 3800mAh or above are fraudulent, yet thousands have been listed on Amazon.
Unscrupulous China salvagers re-label the recycled used 18650 battery cells as “new” with wild capacity claims and sell them online individually and in battery packs at low prices. Overheating and fires turn unprotected individual 18650 cells into exploding bombs with dangerous or deadly consequences for consumers. Few consumers understand that the individual 18650 cells rarely have the capacity, built-in protective circuitry, or the venting claimed, which would protect against overcharging, overheating, fires, explosions, or other harmful events.
For example, this current Amazon listed flashlight headlamp includes a glaring consumer warning, “I just used it and it was dim so I put it on the charger. This thing exploded 20 minutes later 1 battery has blew into thousands of pieces. I glad it didn’t catch my home on Fire. I more grateful this didn’t happen while I was wearing it.”
Thousands of hospital emergency room visits, hundreds of aircraft fires, dismemberments, hospitalizations, and deaths are documented from Li-ion batteries;
- Two Pennsylvania children, a 10-year-old and 3-year-old, were the first confirmed U.S. hoverboard fire deaths in 2017.
- A 38-year-old Florida man died in 2018 when an e-cigarette device exploded, causing a “projectile wound to the head” and burning 80% of his body. His home had extensive fire damage.
- There have been 268 incidents involving lithium batteries reported to the FAA between 2006 and January 22, 2020. In the United States alone, a fire in a lithium-ion battery grounds a flight every 10-days on average, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Using, giving, or sharing Li-ion battery-powered devices (especially to children) resulted in thousands of reported fire and explosion incidents resulting in emergency-room visits in the U.S., including acute injuries, meaning that the victim required hospitalization and may have suffered the loss of a body part. Li-ion batteries are often used close to the user’s face or put in pockets. Incidents involving injury and hospitalization are cited in the complaint.
Amazon, under an umbrella of legal immunity, provides its unique platform for unregulated sales of dangerous products, leaving consumers on their own to sort the legitimate, honest sellers from all the bad actors. Amazon allows fraudsters to voraciously churn counterfeit, replica, and fraudulent items, indifferent to the damage they cause to consumers, legitimate sellers, and manufacturers while fulfilling their desire to be the sole source of items for purchase.
Legislative and judicial intervention to protect consumers is notably lacking, thereby allowing counterfeits, fraud, and scams to flood the marketplace. Consumers are left to fend for themselves.
There is no doubt that we now live in a time where the law lags far behind technology. As a result, Amazon enables and fosters a marketplace reaching millions of customers, where anyone can sell just about anything, while at the same time taking little responsibility for their actions and ignoring consumer complaints.
Amazon continues to sell dangerous products as there is no incentive to clean up their websites — they make too much money. Amazon paid no federal income tax on $11.2 billion in profit in 2018 and a 1.2% tax rate on a $13.3 billion profit in 2019.
Author2020-09-03 at 10:47:52 am
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