Personal Injury Compensation

House Fire Injury Compensation

€2m Compensation for Couple Exposed to Toxic Insulation Chemicals

January 20th, 2021. By Compensation News.

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.”

Teenager Compensated for Emotional Trauma

December 22nd, 2015. By Compensation News.

A fourteen year old boy has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for emotional trauma inflicted upon him when a fire broke out in his family home.

When a Hotpoint dishwasher caught fire in the evening of the 26th June 2010, the house owned by the Monds family in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath was destroyed. Luckily, each of the family’s four children were successfully and safely removed from the burning house by their parents, though they could not live in their family home until spring 2011

Aaron, the nine year old son of the couple, was severely unsettled by the fire. Already known to suffer from mild intellectual disabilities, the fire in his house caused him to develop a phobia of all fires and triggered obsessive compulsive disorder for years after the event, with symptoms including repeatedly checking that electrical appliances are unplugged.

As Aaron was not of legal age, he made a claim for compensation through his father Henry Monds for the emotional trauma he sustained in the house fire against the manufacturer of the dishwasher, Indesit UK Ltd.. An investigation into the circumstances of the blaze was attributed to the appliance, and as such liability was admitted by the company. The claim then proceeded to the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton oversaw proceedings at the hearing, and was given accounts of Aaron’s night terrors concerning fire and burning, years after the event occurred. The judge was also told that therapy was alleviating the condition, though he still suffered from anxiety attacks that it would happen again.

The judge accepted the evidence that Aaron was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the fire. Aaron was awarded a €51,244 settlement which the court ordered to be paid into court funds until Aaron reached eighteen.

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