Defense Digest, Vol. 27, No. 3, June 2021

On the Pulse… Premises and Retail Liability Group

Marshall Dennehey’s Premises and Retail Liability Practice Group, housed within the firm’s Casualty Department, defends national and regional retail chains in a vast array of premises liability matters. Claims against retail stores, including general liability premises claims, negligent security claims and retail theft claims, make up almost one-third of the firm’s casualty cases. For more than 25 years, the practice has continued to grow, confirming the value that this specialized group offers to our retail clients.

Comprised of highly-skilled trial attorneys and litigators, with members of the group located throughout the firm’s 20 offices, our practice group continues to maintain a strong multi-regional presence within the industry. Our premises and retail liability attorneys are well-versed in those legal issues impacting all aspects of the retail industry, from liability both outside and inside of the premises, to the services and products retailers offer their customers. Our comprehensive knowledge of the issues facing our retail clients allows us to identify issues early on, based on the claims asserted and available defenses, in order to:     

  • Determine whether the matter should be aggressively defended or placed into an early settlement strategy;
  • Help prevent against possible spoliation issues;
  • Complete a thorough investigation based on internal policies, industry standards and current litigation trends;
  • Timely identify and evaluate significant risk transfer issues to alleviate the financial burden on our retail clients and/or their carriers; and
  • Effectively work toward carrying out our defense strategy with minimal disruption to our clients’ retail businesses, regardless of size.

In addition to our practice group’s highly-skilled defense of premises and retail liability claims, our attorneys assist with early investigations of possible claims to ensure a strong plan of action is promptly put in place. These minimal and low-cost efforts, when completed up front, ensure the timely collection of critical information that is often lost over time due to common challenges facing the retail industry, such as employee turnover, subsequent revisions to internal policies, and the failure to timely preserve video and photographic evidence.

Our attorneys also play a pivotal role in training clients to be knowledgeable about issues and trends facing the retail industry. By providing on-site seminars to employees and managers, consulting on the drafting of internal policies and procedures, and assisting with the implementation of risk-prevention practices, we can help to reduce the number of claims with which our clients are faced. Having developed long-lasting relationships with many national and local retail clients, they know that the specialized knowledge of our practice group attorneys is just a phone call away.

Through memberships with industry groups, such as the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA), our attorneys are at the forefront of issues and trends facing the retail industry. Their efforts put the Marshall Dennehey Premises and Retail Liability Group in the best position to provide high-level, specialized services to our retail clients.

*Marshall Dennehey’s Premises and Retail Liability Practice Group is co-chaired by shareholders Walter J. Klekotka, of our Mount Laurel, New Jersey office, and Amanda J. Podlucky, of our Orlando, Florida office, who have a total of more than 45 years combined experience defending premises claims They may be reached at or


Defense Digest, Vol. 27, No. 3, June 2021 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2021 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact