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'Toxic sofa' claimants win payouts over DMF

Sterling notes
Image caption Some claimants have received £9,000 in compensation

A court has sanctioned £1,800 payouts to 408 claimants in a multimillion-pound compensation battle over so-called "toxic sofas".

The claimants, including 55 children, had all suffered skin complaints caused by the sensitising agent dimethyl fumarate (DMF) in the leather sofas.

The furniture was made by Chinese companies Linkwise and Eurosofa.

In April a number of High Street chains agreed to pay £20m in total to those who had received chemical burns.

'Sensible settlement'

This initial agreement meant that 1,650 people would receive between £1,175 and £9,000 each, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice MacDuff said the latest resolution of the litigation for the last tranche of 408 claimants was a "very sensible and proper settlement" of their claims.

The sofa makers had used DMF as an anti-mould agent to protect the leather, but the chemical is toxic in tiny amounts and can cause blistering and bleeding of the skin.

The EU has banned the use of DMF after customers in at least five European countries suffered burns and breathing problems.

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