Lawsuit over broken dog collar could lead to battle over Amazon and other tech giants’ liability

A Pennsylvania woman will never be the same after walking her dog four years ago and being partially blinded by a defective collar she purchased on Amazon.

And her case against the online shopping giant could eventually lead to big changes to a crucial 1996 law that protects the tech industry from liability claims.

Last week, a Third Circuit Court of Appeals panel voted 2-1 to reinstate Heather Oberdorf’s products liability lawsuit for a dog collar that suddenly snapped apart.

The Third Circuit decision is “potentially so revolutionary,” it could possibly put companies like Google GOOG, +0.89% and Apple AAPL, -0.09% on the hook for any dangerous apps, according to Carrie Goldberg, a Brooklyn lawyer who’s sued tech companies on behalf of victims of revenge porn and other privacy violations.

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