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Hundreds of burn victims from Chinese made 'toxic sofas'

By Sean Poulter, on 04-27-2010 00:50

Published in : Eugenics, Population

Views : 1053    

Hundreds of people who suffered serious burns caused by toxic sofas are in line for compensation totalling up to £20million.

The sofas were made in China and sold by the likes of Argos, Land of Leather and Walmsleys.

Today, High Court judges sanctioned a deal that will see 1,650 of those who suffered painful burns receive compensation.

The victims, including babies and toddlers, suffered severe skin or eye complaints, breathing difficulties or other medical complications.

The cheap sofas were manufactured by two Chinese firms, Linkwise and Eurosofa, which put sachets of the chemical Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF), into shipments.

DMF is an anti-mould agent and was designed to stop the sofas deteriorating during storage and transportation. But the EU has banned the use of DMF after consumers in at least five European countries suffered skin burns and breathing problems due to the chemical, used in numerous imported leather products.

The claimants were represented by solicitors Russell Jones & Walker, who took on Argos, Land of Leather and Walmsleys and said the total payout could reach £20million.

Retailers initially brushed off complaints from customers, however these three companies subsequently pulled the products from stores and admitted liability.

Following the court decision, victims will receive compensation payouts expected to be between £1,175 and £9,000, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

But around 350 Land of Leather customers seem likely to miss out. The firm went into administration last year and its insurer, Zurich, has refused to offer payments to those who bought Linkwise sofas.

Richard Langton, of Russell Jones & Walker, said: 'Many people suffered serious health problems, simply because of the new sofa they chose.'

 

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