Mother demands £20m over car seat that's never caused any harm

Says Argos put son's life at risk

Updated: 
One of the recalled car seats.

A mother is suing Argos for £20 million because a car seat she bought there might have harmed her child - but didn't.

Earlier this year, the store issued a recall of its exclusive range of Mamas & Papas branded Mercury Group car seats, after discovering a 'potential safety issue.'

The seats were believed to be vulnerable to cracking under strain - although there have been no reports of any incidents.

Rochelle Natty, of Oldham, had bought one of the car seats 18 months earlier, and never experienced any problems. But she reckons she's due millions of pounds in compensation because of her shock at the news.

"I was sold a car seat that was unsafe and Argos (took) one year and a half to inform me about it, whilst my son was being driven around in a car seat that was not fit for purpose. They put my child's life at risk," her High Court writ reads.

"On 11 May 2016 I received an email from Argos stating urgent safety concerns. I read through it, then called Argos up and asked, why did it take them a year and a half to tell me this whilst driving around with my child in an unsafe car seat. Argos then went on to blame Mamas & Papas."

Both Argos and Mamas & Papas deny that they've done anything wrong.

Argos's barrister points out that Ms Natty 'seeks £20m despite not claiming to have suffered any actual loss, damage or personal injury' She hasn't given details of 'the nature of the loss or damage suffered and how the alleged breach or defect caused her to suffer', he says.

And it's hard to see how she can expect to win. Under British law, damages are usually payable for economic losses such as loss of earnings, property damage and medical expenses - which clearly don't apply in this case.

And while the law also allows for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, £20 million seems a bit steep for realising that something bad might have happened - but didn't.

It's usually the US that spawns such bizarre lawsuits. In 2005, for example, one man sued a dry cleaners for losing his trousers - demanding $40 million for his 'mental anguish'. He lost, but only after the case was dragged out for four years.

And the crown for sheer greed has to go to Anton Purisima, who was bitten by a dog in New York and sued the city for $2,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 - all the money on the planet.

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