A married couple who were accidently exposed to toxic chemicals following the installation of spray foam insulation at their Donegal have been awarded compensation of approximately €2m.
In relation to suffering they experienced following inappropriate communication during the 2016 installation of the insulation at their house located in Annagry, the Duffys family were awarded the sum by Justice Kevin Cross. Justice Cross said that he felt the couple, Patrick and Anita Duffy, sustained “their life-altering serious injuries as a result of exposure to chemicals”.
He went on to say that, based on the facts presented to him, that the most likely cause of these injuries was the installation of the foam insulation into the roof of the house. The Duffys’ injuries were inflicted upon them and it was beyond a reasonable doubt that the the exposure to the insulation product used by the company performing the installation was to blame for this.
He found that the insulation installed, McGee Insulation Services, has not properly warned the Duffys to remain away from their dwelling for a minimum period of two hours after the spraying was completed. He added that the company had not made them aware of the potential danger of returning to the house before this time period had elapsed.
Justice Cross went on to say that the insulation foam product itself is “essentially safe” if installed appropriately and guidelines are adhered to by all parties and that the injuries in this case were like due to exposure rather than negligence in relation to the actual installation.
The Duffys now reside in a mobile home and all three family members. All three family members have become very sensitive to some products and basically “now live in a bubble”. They initiated the compensation legal action against the company that completed the installation on February 18 2016 – Brendan McGee, trading as Largenreach from Downings, Co Donegal. Additionally they filed a legal action for compensation against the provider of the spray foam insulation material – GMS Insulations, of Legga, Moyne, Co Longford.
The action claimed that the family were exposed to dangerous fumes and toxic chemicals while and their young daughter could no longer reside at their dream home near the sea in Donegal because as she no longer feels safe there.
The defendants refuted all of the allegations made in the compensation action.
In delivering his ruling Judge Justice Kevin Cross stated: “I have no doubt whatsoever had they been so appraised that Mrs Duffy would have left the house with her daughter before the spraying commenced and none of the Duffys would have returned until they were assured it was safe to do so.”