Interpreting the Tennessee Products Liability Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-105(a), the Sixth Circuit in this case determined that Amazon was not a “seller” of a defective hoverboard. The panel started with the statute’s definition of “seller,” which includes a “lessor” and a “bailor.” Amazon had argued that the TPLA borrows the UCC’s definition of “sale” as “the passing of title from the seller to the buyer for a price” because Tennessee has adopted the UCC in relevant part. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 47-2-103(1)(d), 47-2-106(1). But the panel disagreed. It held that by including a “lessor” and “bailor,” neither of which would necessarily accord with the UCC definition, the TPLA adopted a broader definition of “seller.” 

The court instead construed the TPLA’s definition of “seller” to mean “any individual or entity regularly engaged in exercising sufficient control over a product in connection with its sale, lease, or bailment, for livelihood or gain.” To confirm its textual analysis, the panel looked to statutory purpose and judicial interpretations of other states’ product liability laws. And because Amazon did not offer the hoverboard for sale, set its price, or make any representation about its safety, it was not considered a “seller” under the TPLA.