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Fire appliance lawyer criticises Government's inaction on product safety

A lawyer who specialises in representing victims of fires caused by faulty appliances has criticised the Government’s inaction on product safety.

23 June 2017

Jill Paterson and Tom Jervis, of law firm Leigh Day,  represent 40 people from the Shepherd's Bush fire which the London Fire Brigade reported was  caused by a faulty Hotpoint tumble dryer. 
 
The police confirmed this morning that the fire in Grenfell Tower, which is believed to have killed 79 people, was started with a fridge freezer. Police added that the fridge was manufactured by Hotpoint and was not subject to any recall notice.
 
The consumer law and product safety team at Leigh Day have represented many victims and their families following fires thought to have been caused by white goods. Many of these appliances were already subject to a safety or recall notice, but many others were not.
 
Ms Paterson said: 
 
“We have been calling for changes to the product safety regime in the UK for almost 3 years now since the inquest of Santosh Benjamin Muthiah who died as a result of a fire caused by a faulty fridge freezer. 
 
“No real action has been taken by the Government, despite recommendations produced by consumer champion, Lynn Faulds Wood. Since that time, a blaze occurred in a Shepherd’s Bush Tower Block, believed to be caused by a Hotpoint tumble dryer, which displaced more than 30 families. A year later, nothing further has happened. Now this. 
 
“The time for proper action is now. Public safety must be paramount and I would urge the Government to end the delay and put in place Lynn Faulds Wood’s recommendations now.” 
 
Hotpoint have confirmed that they are working with the authorities to assist in ongoing investigations.
 
Hotpoint have requested that consumers who believe they may have a Hotpoint fridge freezer model number FF175BP or FF175BG should call their freephone hotline on 0800 316 3826 or visit hotpointservice.co.uk/fridgefreezer so that Hotpoint can register their details and contact them with further information.

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