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Catalogue Company Robe Blamed for Deaths

HARTFORD (CN) - A woman died because her Pakistan-made chenille robe caught fire, and at least eight other people have died or been seriously burned by the same robes, the woman's daughter claims in Federal Court. Sharon Davis claims the catalogue company defendants, Blair Corp. and Catalog Holdings knew the robes were dangerously defective.

Of the 162,000 robes the companies have sold, at least nine have been associated with deaths or serious injuries, Davis says.

Davis says her mother, Atwilda Brown, was wearing the robe on Feb. 12, 2005 when it "ignited and rapidly erupted into an uncontrollable fire consuming the robe and painfully burning the decedent's skin and body tissue."

Suffering from second- and third-degree burns, Brown died in a hospital burn unit on Feb. 27, 2005.

Davis says the robe was designed to be loose-fitting, which causes a "chimney effect" that causes its rapid and intense burning. She says it was not treated with flame retardant, and was designed so that it could not be easily removed.

Davis demands damages of $30 million. She is represented by Bruce Raymond with Raymond and Bennett.

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