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Apr 26, 2010 10:19 AM by Associated Press

Britons win payout over burns from 'toxic sofas'

A British court says hundreds of people who received chemical burns from leather sofas will share 20 million pounds ($30 million) in compensation.

The customers took legal action after claiming of skin and eyecomplaints or breathing difficulties from the Chinese-made furniture, dubbed "toxic sofas."

The problems were blamed on dimethyl fumarate, a fungicide designed to stop the furniture from becoming moldy. The European Union banned the chemical last year.

Lawyers told a judge at London's High Court on Monday that agreement had been reached between the plaintiffs and a company that owns several furniture retailers. It will see 1,650 victims receive up to 9,000 pounds ($13,900) apiece.

Legal action continues in 3,000 other cases.

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