Faulty earplug user appeals for consumers with similar experiences

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Faulty earplug user appeals for consumers with similar experiences

1st November 2010

A man who required surgery after a silicone earplug disintegrated in his ear has appealed for anyone who may have suffered a similar ordeal to come forward.

Anya Rupal, a personal injury specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, representing the man, said: "When my client used his earplugs he naturally expected their removal to be both easy and pain-free, he certainly didn't expect to need surgery to remove bits of silicone from his ear."

When the 36 year-old Tooting man - who had bought the 'Soft Silicone Earplugs' from a major high street pharmaceutical chain - came to remove them from his ears after a nights sleep, he discovered the right earplug had disintegrated and a part had become trapped in his ear.

After an hour of unsuccessful and painful A&E treatment at St Georges Hospital, Tooting - by which time his inner ear had filled with blood - the victim was told he would need to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as his body temperature had caused the trapped earplug residue to disintegrate further.

"By the time of his ENT appointment four days later, my client was totally deaf in his right ear," said Anya. "His hearing was only restored after his ear had been 'vacuumed,' and the offending residue scraped out."

After writing a letter of complaint to the retailer, describing his ordeal, the man received a gift voucher in return with an assurance that following an investigation, the product had been found to be without fault.

"The company's response has been dismissive and a proper investigation needs to ascertain why such a widely available product - used exactly as prescribed in the instructions - should have disintegrated inside the ear," said Anya. "The fact that an earplug can disintegrate and bits of silicone can become lodged in someone's ear, potentially causing deafness, is very worrying. My client now hopes anyone who has endured a similar experience will come forward with further information and help in his fight for justice."

Can you help?
If you have bought a pair of 'Soft Silicone Earplugs' and suffered a comparable ordeal, or you have made or know of others who have made similar claims against a major high street pharmaceutical company, please call Anya Rupal on 0207 092 2838 or e-mail anya.rupal@fentons.co.uk.