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Retailers can face product liability claims

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Business & Commercial Law

Did you know that someone could try to hold your retail establishment liable if they’re injured by a product you sell? Very few business owners in South Dakota know about this aspect of product liability law.

Unfortunately, this is a risk that both new entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners should address before such issues have a chance to arise. Without protection, a successful claim against your store could devastate your entire business and even lead to closure.

How are retailers liable for product injuries?

An effective way of understanding retailer liability is to look at the different elements of product liability. These claims typically involve a flaw or defect in one or more of these three things:

  • The design of a product
  • The manufacturing of a product
  • The marketing, display or selling of a product

The last element listed above is particularly concerning for retailers, as improperly marketed or displayed products could lead to an injury. For example, say your store sells toy guns that use plastic ammunition, but neither the toy’s label nor product information contains safety warnings. If a child is hit in the eye by a plastic bullet and suffers an injury, your store may be found liable for selling a product with no safety warnings.

Many retailers purchase insurance that can lower their financial risks in the face of a claim that a product they sold harmed someone. However, it is also wise to be prepared to defend against product liability claims. Learning more about how these laws work in South Dakota can help you protect your business.