Payouts at last for victims of toxic sofas

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Payouts at last for victims of toxic sofas

28th April 2010

A lawyer representing dozens of victims of so-called toxic sofa syndrome has welcomed a combined compensation payout of £20m.

The High Court in London this week approved a settlement between UK victims and insurers of the shops that sold the Chinese-made furniture which left many suffering from rashes, burns and peeling skin.

John Hutchings, a lawyer specialising in defective product cases with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said many victims' would now be compensated for the injuries caused by the chemical DMF (dimethyl fumarate), a fungicide which had been used in the production of several of the sofas.

"This toxic sofa issue first came to light three years ago," said John, who is representing more than 30 victims. "Since then, there have been thousands of people come forward with symptoms. Some of the burns and skin conditions I have seen have been absolutely horrific.

"It was high time that these people should be compensated for their injuries and I am delighted with the decision," he said.

A group action was launched against three retailers of the furniture - Argos, Homebase and Walmsleys - all of whom admitted liability. Some 350 victims who bought sofas from Land of Leather, now in administration, were less fortunate after insurers Zurich won a ruling last month to avoid paying out.

Apart from the 2,000 settled cases there are about 3,000 where liability is still in dispute. "It is thought that as many as 200,000 affected sofas could have been sold before they were withdrawn from sale," said John. "There could still be literally thousands of people suffering from skin irritations or respiratory problems as result of their sofas, who may not have realised the cause."

For advice on submitting a claim for compensation, please contact John Hutchings at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0161 684 6635.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of defective products. If you or a family member has suffered an injury that was not your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - Sky News