UK judge orders payments to ‘toxic sofa’ victims

By Reuters
Posted Dec. 15, 2010 at 7:39 a.m.

A British judge has ordered retailers to pay hundreds of people who suffered burns and respiratory ailments from toxic sofas. The 408 victims became ill after using leather sofas made by Chinese companies that used dimethyl fumarate, now banned in the EU.

Judge Alistair MacDuff ordered Wednesday that each receive $2,800.

They are the last payouts in a long-running legal dispute. Earlier this year, 1,650 people received a total of 20 million pounds, with the amounts depending on the severity of their illnesses.

The final payments had been held up because of a dispute over liability.

It is one of the largest consumer group lawsuits in British legal history. The case was brought against retailers Argos, Land of Leather and Walmsleys.

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