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Victoria's Secret Bras Linked to Rashes, Lawsuit Filed

Nov 12, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

An Ohio woman claims her Victoria's Secret bra left her with a painful rash, and is suing the lingerie company.   Now, hundreds of other women have come forward to allege similar experiences, and attorneys are seeking class action status for the Ohio lawsuit.

Roberta Ritter, 37, claims she became “utterly sick” after she wore her new Angels Secret Embrace and Very Sexy Extreme Me Push-Up bras.  In her lawsuit, the plaintiff said the rash she suffered was "red hot to the touch, burning and itching."  

Lawyers for Ritter sent bras like the ones she purchased to a lab for testing.  Those tests detected formaldehyde in the bras.  Formaldehyde is used in the textile industry to make fabrics crease-resistant.  

Formaldehyde can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs, and is being phased out of many consumer products in the United States because of long term cancer risk and other health concerns.  It is possible that Ritter and other women who have been injured by Victoria's Secret bras are allergic to formaldehyde.

Apparently, Ritter was not alone in her suffering.  According to various media reports, a number of online medical forums have been flooded with complaints about the bras.

Ritter's lawyers said they have received well over 200 inquiries from women who experienced rashes and other skin problems from Victoria's Secret bras.  They have now filed a motion to give Ritter's suit class action status.

For its part, Victoria's Secret admitted it had complaints about its bras from "a small number" of consumers. But the company claims that it does not use formaldehyde in its bras.  

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