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When you purchase a product from a store, you reasonably expect that the appropriate parties have ensured that it is safe and fit for use. However, when an underlying defect is present, it can turn a seemingly harmless item into a dangerous one, even when used correctly. As a result, people can suffer devastating injuries and other losses that negatively impact their lives. Injured parties often wonder who is responsible for their damages. Please continue reading as we explore whether retailers are liable for selling defective products and how our qualified New York City Product Liability Attorneys can fight for you today. 

What makes a product defective?

A product is deemed defective when it contains a flaw that makes it unsafe. Unfortunately, defects can happen to any product, ranging from the simplest household goods like a coffee maker to the most complex automobile products. Several parties in the distribution chain can bear liability when a defective product injures a consumer. The main types of product liability cases are:

  • Design defects: This occurs when a person who designed the product fails to take the necessary measures to ensure that the product is safe for consumers.
  • Manufacturing defect: This occurs during the production process when a manufacturer does not follow proper protocol or strays from the approved design, causing the product to become unsafe.
  • Failure to warn: This occurs when a product does not display the proper warnings or instructions on how to use the product correctly.

Are retailers liable for defective products?

Injured parties often make the grave mistake of quickly forgiving the retailer that sold them the defective product, as they assume that they could not bear any liability as they did not design or manufacture the item. However, it’s crucial to understand that several parties in the product distribution chain may be liable, including retailers. Therefore, you should not dismiss the retailer’s potential liability.

While a retailer may not have manufactured or distributed a defective product, they can be held liable for any injuries caused by the product. This is because retailers are responsible for ensuring the products they display on their shelves and online are safe for use and will not harm consumers. Although retailers are the primary cause of the defect, they provided consumers with the faulty product.¬†Ultimately, retailers have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care toward consumers, meaning they must take the necessary precautions to ensure that the merchandise they advertise is safe for use. It’s vital to understand that it’s the responsibility of retailers to remove recalled products to prevent harm to consumers.

If a defective product has injured you, you may feel tempted to get rid of it. However, it’s crucial to hold onto it as this type of evidence can help you prove your claim. Please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled attorney from the legal team at Swerling Law, who can help guide you through your legal options.


To a man who was assaulted at a restaurant and sustained a traumatic brain injury.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


To a man who sustained back injuries when he was a passenger in the car that rear ended another car.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.

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