When a product is defective, several parties may be liable for damages as part of a product liability claim. These parties are all links in the distribution chain that take products from the designer and manufacturer to the consumer’s hands. In some cases, the retailer selling the product can be liable for their part in a consumer’s injuries. Although the retailer did not make the defective product, they can still play a role in sustained injuries that assigns liability.
Manufacturer’s Role in Defective Product Liability
When a defective retail product injures consumers, product liability laws allow them to recover damages from parties associated with that product. Usually, the manufacturer is held liable for a defective product’s injury to the consumer and other damages.
In many cases, the consumer does not need to prove that the manufacturer is negligent, only that the product had defects. The consumer also needs to show that they used it according to how it was intended and designed to be used. Finally, they must show that using it properly caused their injuries.
The manufacturer is not where all of the liability for that defective product ends. Retailers may also be liable.
Retailer’s Role in Defective Product Liability
It is a retailer’s responsibility to ensure that what they sell to the public is safe and will not injure consumers. But a retailer may argue that design and manufacturing defects are the manufacturer’s responsibility, and they had no way of knowing that the product could cause their customers harm.
But retailers must exercise caution in selling products, ensuring what they stock is safe for use. They are also responsible for conforming to a recall if one includes the products they sell. Due to these responsibilities, they may be liable if they sell a product that causes injury to the purchaser or anyone else who did not buy the product.
When a product injures you, you may hold a retailer or third-party liable even if you were not the one using the product. A good example of this is an auto accident. If the driver who caused the wreck was operating a defective vehicle, you could submit a legal claim against the manufacturer, just as the vehicle’s driver may do the same. In such cases of a defective product, an attorney can clarify who may be liable for your injuries or other damages.
Negligence and Liability of a Retailer or Store
Sometimes retailers act with negligence. This means that they knowingly sell a product that they are aware, or should be aware of, is defective. A good example of this is when a retailer does not participate in a recall as they should. When the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls a consumer product due to defective design, manufacturing, or other issues, the retailer is responsible for ensuring their customers are safe from that defective product. They do not purchase it after the recall has been issued. If a retailer continues to sell the item, that retailer is likely negligent in not removing the product from its inventory or store.
As part of some recalls, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may require retailers to inform customers who bought the defective product from them about the recall. The retailer may need to educate customers regarding the steps needed to repair the item or replace it. By not doing so, the retailer is likely negligent.
If a recalled product causes you injury or other damages, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for advice regarding how to handle your claim.
Product Liability and Personal Injury Lawyers
Product liability and personal injury lawyers help protect consumers from defective products by holding liable and negligent parties responsible for injuries and damages. These types of legal claims do not just benefit the customer who was harmed by the product. These cases actually often lead to product recalls that can save millions of people from being harmed in the same way, using the same item. When consumers hold retailers and manufacturers accountable for the damages their products cause, everyone in the distribution chain becomes more aware of how integrity and product safety is of the utmost importance in their industry.