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Holly (6) gets €10k for rashes blamed on new Argos sofa

A SIX-year-old girl who developed "intensely tingly" body rashes from a new sofa her mum bought, has been awarded €10,000 damages against Argos Limited.

Barrister Andrew Whelan told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that a widespread recall of the chemically contaminated product had been carried out by Argos in November 2009.

He said Holly David's mother, Gabriela, had bought the Bari Ivory large sofa in November 2006 and Holly had already been medically treated for a dermatitis-type skin infection prior to the recall.

Mr Whelan said Holly, who was only two at the time, and her entire family had developed skin problems at the time after coming in contact with a chemical used in production.

Mrs David, of Pace Road, Clonee, Co Dublin, told the court in an affidavit she had received a replacement sofa shortly after Holly had developed skin problems.

Chemical

She said all exposed parts of her body such as her neck and the back of her legs had become intensely tingly and uncomfortable following short periods of exposure to the chemical dimethyl fumarate, which had been used in the sofa. Mr Whelan told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, that Holly had been treated by her GP, Dr Deirdre Coyle, and later by a consultant dermatologist.

He said the Personal Injuries Assessment Board had recommended damages of €10,000.

Judge Deery said it was clear from medical reports that she had quickly recovered from her skin problems following replacement of the sofa and medical treatment.

He awarded her an extra €534 special damages by way of expenses and her legal team's costs of her claim.

hnews@herald.ie