This very significant case involved serious injuries suffered by two children in a house fire caused by a defective heater.

Our case, heard by a High Court Judge in Birmingham, was that the fire was started by the heater. The retailer which sold the ex-display heater denied it was defective and therefore denied it was responsible for the injuries sustained.

The heater had been used to heat a living room and when the fire started the mother sought to get help but the fire was such that the children became trapped upstairs. The fire service rescued the children and they were taken to hospital.

"Retailers have statutory responsibilities to ensure that the products they stock are safe and free from defects. Justice was ultimately served and the children will now receive compensation to support them in managing their injuries as they grow."

Kerl De-Loyde
Senior serious injury solicitor

The Judge carefully considered the evidence we put forward on our clients’ behalf, as well as hearing the retailer’s evidence which included the fact that they did not know why 436 of the 16,352 heaters sold had been returned by customers – information which we said could point to a problem. The Judge held that the fire had likely been caused by a defect within the heater and a subsequent hearing will decide the level of compensation to be awarded.

Karl De-Loyde from Thompsons Solicitors, acting on behalf of the children, said: “Retailers have statutory responsibilities to ensure that the products they stock are safe and free from defects. It was very clear to us that the fire had been caused by a defect in the heater which was in no way the fault of any family member, and under the law the buck stops with the retailer. It is beyond me as to why the retailer dragged their heels and contested this case, but justice was ultimately served and the children will now receive compensation to support them in managing their injuries as they grow.”