A 42-year-old Hampshire man received an out-of-court settlement from the U.K. discount chain 99p Stores after suffering chemical burns to his penis and testicles from using a cheap brand of shower gel. According to The Telegraph, Raymond Cuss of Gosport, Hampshire was left in agony after the liquid soap burned away the top layer of skin from his genitals.
“I had a shower to freshen up when I got home from work and suffered an horrendous reaction,” Cuss said. “When I stepped out of the shower and looked down at my groin I could see I had been burned.”
The flesh of the area glowed bright, angry red and was profoundly irritated, he said, beginning weeks of painful recovery. As the area scabbed and slowly healed, the sensation of fabric on the irritated area was almost more, Cuss said, than he could bear.
“I was horrified and scared I may have suffered permanent damage,” he said. “As the area dried, I was left in incredible pain, with a burning sensation. I had trouble sleeping, and could not lie on my front because it was far too painful.”
Because he is self-employed, Cuss had no choice but to keep working and “battle through the pain.”
“I had tears in my eyes when pulling on my boxer shorts,” he said, “and if any material simply brushed the area I almost doubled over in pain. I grimaced with every move.”
99p Stores refused to admit liability, claiming that chemicals from Cuss’ work may have interacted with the Dettol-branded shower gel to cause the burns. After a lengthy legal battle, the firm agreed to pay Cuss £1,000 (about $1,600 USD) before the case could go to court.
A spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the company that makes Dettol products in the U.K., said that the shower gel was not British in origin. “A review of the product packaging identified it as most likely a product originally made for the Korean market and imported as a grey market product.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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