Doyle & Company LLP Solicitors

Couple awarded €2m after their exposed to toxic chemicals at ‘dream home​’​​​​​​.

Couple awarded €2m after their exposed to toxic chemicals at ‘dream home​’​​​​​​.

December 05 2020

A couple who claimed they were exposed to toxic chemicals after a spray foam insulation was installed in their home have been awarded over €2m.

The judge came to the conclusion beyond any doubt whatsoever that the injuries the couple sustained were life-altering serious injuries. These injuries were as a result of this exposure to the chemicals in the foam that had been injected into the roof. Thus on the balance of probabilities the judge found that due to the nature and extent of the injuries they were due to exposure to the chemical Isocyanate.

The Judge said the insulation foam product itself is “essentially safe” if properly applied with the proper safeguards. However the installer was found negligent in failing to advise the couple were required to be out of the house during the spraying and for at least two hours afterwards and in failing to communicate with them the potential risks and hazards involved in the product if the safeguards were not adhered to.

The couple had sued, claiming they were exposed to fumes and toxic chemicals and that they and their young daughter had to leave the dream home they had built near the sea in Donegal as they did not feel safe there. The family now live in a mobile home. The plantiff told the court all three in the family had since become incredibly sensitised to certain products and “now live in a bubble".

The couple, paid €4,000 to have the insulation installed in their home four years ago. They had sued McGee Insulation Services, who was responsible for the installation and the application of spray foam insulation at the family home on February 18, 2016. They had also sued GMS Insulations, which imports and supplies spray foam insulation material. The claims were denied.

In the judgment yesterday, it found the couple were not at any stage appraised that their absence from the house was required as a matter of personal safety for themselves and their daughter.

The judge said she had no doubt whatsoever had the family been so appraised that they would have left the house with their daughter before the spraying commenced and none of the family would have returned until they were assured it was safe to do so.

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