Can retailers be liable for selling defective products in California?


When an individual shops at a store, they reasonably trust that the products advertised on the shelves are safe. Whether we buy the simplest household goods or complex automobile products, we should be able to trust that the appropriate parties have taken the necessary measures to ensure we will not be harmed when properly using the product. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; underlying defects can result in serious injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured because of a product defect, it’s crucial to determine what parties bear liability for the damages you’ve incurred, as you may be entitled to significant compensation. There are several parties in the chain of distribution of a product. This causes injured parties to wonder whether retailers may be liable for selling defective products. Please continue reading and contact our experienced Santa Clara County Defective Product Attorneys to learn how we can help you uncover the negligent parties and hold them accountable. 

What makes a product defective?

A product is deemed defective when it contains a flaw that makes it unreasonably dangerous. Unfortunately, product defects can take many forms. Product defects may be caused by:

  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Failure to warn
  • Strict liability
  • Warranty breach
  • Negligence

Design and manufacturing defects are the two most common product liability cases. Design defects occur when an individual who designed the product does not consider user safety when developing it. Essentially, when the designer fails to take the necessary steps to ensure the product is safe for consumers. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, occur when the product is ready for distribution and sent to production. Manufacturing defects occur when the manufacturer deviates from the approved design or does not comply with proper protocol, causing the product to become unsafe.

Are retailers responsible for selling defective products?

While the companies and manufacturers that make products are responsible for ensuring that everything they sell to the public is safe for consumer use, they are not the only parties that may bear liability for injuries and other losses caused by a defective product. Even though a retailer did not manufacture or distribute the product, they can be held liable for any damages that arise from a defective product. This is primarily because, despite not being the primary cause of the defect, they have a legal obligation to ensure the products they advertise are safe and suitable for use. Retailers must take the necessary steps to ensure that the products they sell will not cause harm to consumers when used correctly.

If a product defect has injured you or someone you love, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined Santa Clara County defective product attorney, who can help guide you through your legal options. At The Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, we are prepared to help you fight for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to for your devastating losses.