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Are Retailers Liable for Defective Products?

June 14, 2021 Product Liability

When a retailer advertises an item for sale, it is implied that they ensure the product is safe and suitable for use. Even though a retailer may not have manufactured or distributed a defective product, they can be held liable for any injuries or losses caused by a product they sold. 

Suing a Retailer for a Defective Product

Similar to any personal injury case, there are specific elements that you must prove in a product liability lawsuit against a retailer. First, it must be shown that you used the product in the way that it was designed to be used and not for any other purpose. Second, it must be proven that the product was defective. Third, you must establish that you were injured and suffered losses. Lastly, you must prove that the defect in the product directly caused your injuries. 

Defective product claims against retailers can be challenging to prove and often require the expertise of medical and technical experts. It is always best to seek legal representation in these cases.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Action In Product Liability Claims?

Grounds for a product liability claim can typically be divided into the following three categories:

Design Defects

This is an inherent defect in the design of a product, not the manufacturing. One example is an airbag in a vehicle that deploys with too much force, injuring the driver. 

Manufacturing Defects

This is a defect that happens during the product’s creation and results in a deviation from the design, making the product dangerous for the consumer. An example is a missing part that causes a product to break and injure someone.

Failure to Warn

Any product that can potentially be dangerous or harmful should come with instructions for safe use. A failure to warn defect occurs when there is no user manual or warning label on a product, and someone is injured as a result. An example is a prescribed medication that can cause drowsiness but doesn’t have a warning label disclosing that. If the patient takes the medication, drives, and gets into a car accident because they were too tired, they have a strong product liability case. 

Proving a Defective Product Claim

For a product liability case to be successful against a retailer, you will need to be able to prove the following elements: 

  • You were using the product in the way it was intended to be used.
  • The product you used is defective (design defect, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn).
  • The defective product directly caused your injury.
  • You suffered an injury and financial losses. 

If you are unsure whether or not you meet these requirements, discuss your accident with an experienced product liability lawyer. 

Get Help For Your Defective Product Claim

If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, contact CaseyGerry. Our San Diego Product Liability Attorney will help you file your claim, represent your best interests, and secure the compensation that you deserve. Message us online or call (619) 238-1811 today for your free case evaluation.