Shoemakers pay out over chemical irritant

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A YORKSHIRE man has received a four-figure compensation payment after new shoes left his feet burnt and blistered by chemicals.

Chris Heleine, 51, from Huddersfield, bought a pair of Collective Brand’s Sperry Top-Siders in Leeds in April 2009, which retail for about £170, before flying to Menorca and wearing the shoes for the first time.

Within a few hours his feet were blistered and painful and needed hospital treatment.

He had to return to hospital each day for a week to have dressings changed as medical staff considered there was a risk of infection.

His feet have been left with scars from the chemical burns.

Mr Heleine won compensation from the US-based shoe manufacturer in an out-of-court settlement after approaching law firm Russell, Jones & Walker. They sent the shoes for analysis – which revealed “unusually high” levels of a chemical irritant.

Lawyer Christian Shotton said: “The evidence we found at the very least suggests that the shoes were the cause of Mr Heleine’s injuries. We hope this action will remind manufacturers of their legal duty.”