Customers who bought “toxic” sofas from a large furniture outlet have vowed to continue their compensation claims fight after their appeal was thrown out by the High Court.
Online PR News – 15-April-2010 – – Customers who bought “toxic” sofas from a large furniture outlet have vowed to continue their compensation claims fight after their appeal was thrown out by the High Court.
Up to 4000 people are thought to have suffered rashes, burns and other skin conditions as a result of coming into contact with the leather sofas. One family even had their pet dog put to sleep, as they wrongly believed their rashes to be an allergic reaction to the animal’s fur.
The cause of the victims personal injury claims has been pinpointed to a chemical called dimethyl fumarate (DMF), an anti-mould agent used on the sofas to protect the leather, which can be toxic in small amounts and can cause skin blistering and bleeding. The substance has since been banned by the EU after similar incidents in at least five other countries.
The sofas were manufactured in China and sold in a number of outlets across the UK, including Land of Leather, Walmsley Furnishing and Argos.
The subject of the lawsuit Land of Leather went out of business last year, so more than 300 customers brought their complaint against their insurance company Zurich, seeking up to £3million in compensation for their ailments.
However, a High Court judge ruled last week that they would not be entitled to any payments, as a clause in Land of Leather’s insurance policy meant Zurich could avoid having to pay out compensation.
The policy stated that Land of Leather must not settle claims without permission from Zurich, and if breached, the policy would be deemed void. Before its demise, Land of Leather sought compensation from Linkwise, the company which supplied the sofas. The terms of this agreement were altered after Zurich had agreed to it, and it is this, the insurance company said, which rendered the policy null and void.
The claimants believe they have grounds for appeal as the clause was only valid for claims made against Land of Leather, rather than Land of Leather bringing a case against another company.
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