Textile firms sue over anti-fire product


TWO IRISH companies which weave and supply treated fabric used for aircraft seats have taken legal action against an English company over allegedly supplying them with a fabric fire-retardant product which caused corrosion in aircraft.

The Irish companies claim one airline has sought damages of £2.3 million from them over the alleged corrosion of aluminium parts in aircraft while a second airline has sought $1.26 million. They fear those claims will increase and say their reputation has suffered.

The plaintiffs are Botany Weaving Mill Ltd and Cuan Tamhnaigh Teoranta, related companies employing 100 people at their premises at Kilcar, Co Donegal, and Cork Street, Dublin.

They claim the “Noflan” fire-retardant product originates in Russia and was procured for them by Firestop Chemical, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. After seeing Noflan at a trade show, they claim it was supplied occasionally to them in 2004 and 2005 and more regularly between 2006 and 2008.

The proceedings were admitted yesterday to the Commercial Court by Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan on the application of John Trainor SC, for the companies.

It is claimed Noflan was supplied to the companies by Firestop and then applied by them to fabric used for aircraft seating and caused corrosion to occur in aircraft belonging to two of their most significant customers, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways.

The companies claim both airlines made complaints to them from about August 2008 and the aircraft seating had be removed and repaired or replaced.

They claim they are entitled to be indemnified by Firestop against consequent significant claims for damages made against them because, they allege, Firestop was responsible for supplying a product unsuitable for its intended use and not of merchantable quality.

The judge listed the motion challenging jurisdiction for hearing on July 24th.