Back in February, the BBC’s Watchdog programme exposed a story about leather sofas, sold by a number of leading high street retailers, which had caused severe skin reactions in some people. The Chinese manufactured sofas, the majority of which were purchased from Land of Leather, Argos and Walmsleys, were thought to contain a chemical which was causing extreme allergic reactions in some people, including rashes and blistering that resulted in hospitalisation for some.
Watchdog reported on 12 May 2008 that, in conjunction with Russell Jones & Walker (RJW), it has since discovered that the cause of these ‘sofa burns’ is Di-methyl Fumarate (DMF), a chemical known to cause skin irritation. This fungicide is contained within a sachet which is placed inside the sofas in order to protect against mould during storage, transit and everyday usage. Argos’ independent investigations have also now confirmed these results.
A team of Solicitors led by Richard Langton and Christian Shotton of RJW is currently representing injury claims on behalf of more than 500 people who have suffered due to the affected sofas, and this number is continuing to grow. Around 1000 individuals are now launching a group action in the high court to sue the retailers who sold the sofas for damages.
The majority of the sofas have now been recalled, but a list of known affected sofa batch numbers has been compiled on the RJW Solicitors site in order to enable worried consumers to check whether their sofa might be one of those affected.
In light of the ongoing problem, RJW Solicitors has also advised that anyone who has experienced similar skin problems, even if their sofa’s batch number does not appear in the list, should still contact the retailer where they originally purchased the sofa from.
About Russell Jones & Walker
Russell Jones & Walker is a leading national firm of solicitors dedicated to upholding the legal rights of individuals. From the firms foundation in the 1920s the focus has and continues to be, people and those who represent them.
The firm has grown from its trade union roots into a respected national organisation with nine offices across England and Wales, and an associated office in Scotland.
The reputation of Russell Jones & Walker is built on the range of expertise offered by its partners and staff and on the scope of their practical experience.
RJW Solicitors represents clients across a range of areas from personal injury work to commercial and criminal litigation; from employment to defamation and reputation management; and from clinical negligence to family law.
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