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Government launches independent review into product recalls

Lawyer for man killed in fire linked to fridge freezer welcomes Government’s product safety review

13 March 2015

The lawyer who represents the family of a 36-year-old man who died in a house fire linked to a faulty fridge freezer, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of an Independent Review into the Product Recall System in the UK.

The Review will be led by the broadcaster and leading consumer campaigner Lynn Faulds Wood and will focus on how enforcement of product recalls can be more effective and will explore consumer understanding of the process.

Jill Paterson from the law firm Leigh Day represents the family of Santosh Benjamin, 36, who was killed as he saved his two young children, after a fire in their home in Wealdstone, North London in November 2010.

At the inquest into his death in August 2014 the Coroner, Andrew Walker, found that the failure of the Beko fridge freezer’s defrost timer was the cause of the fire.

Coroner Walker has suggested a radical overhaul of the way that all household appliances are regulated in the UK.

When giving his verdict, Coroner Walker indicated that he would be making a number of recommendations to the Government to ensure the safety of household appliances, including longer prison sentences for manufacturers for failure to notify authorities of a fault.

Jill Paterson has welcomed today’s announcement by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson as a major step forward in the campaign for greater consumer safety.

Ms Paterson from the product liability team at law firm Leigh Day said: “Through our ‘Expect it’s Safe’ campaign we have been calling for more to be done to ensure that people who have faulty appliances in their home are made aware of the problems, regardless of the cost to the company whose responsibility it is to provide safe and reliable products.

“Coroner Walker was unequivocal when handing down his verdict that more needs to be done to protect consumers. Today’s announcement marks a positive step in that direction and we shall await the results of the review with great interest.”

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