Man settles action over alleged exposure to noxious chemical at Intel plant

Court hears former carpenter John Matthews (71) now suffers from shortness of breath

John Matthews  claimed he was allegedly exposed to toxic and noxious chemicals while he was working at the Intel plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

John Matthews claimed he was allegedly exposed to toxic and noxious chemicals while he was working at the Intel plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

A man who claimed he was exposed to a toxic and noxious chemical while working on a refurbishment job at the Intel Ireland plant has settled a High Court action.

Seven years after the alleged exposure, the prognosis for John Matthews (71) - who suffers from shortness of breath - is chronic, his counsel Barney Quirke SC had told the High Court at the opening of the case.

The claims, which were denied, related to the refurbishment of a clean room where microchips are manufactured at the Intel plant and the pouring of a chemical sealant known as Penatron/ASTC 3003c.

Mr Matthews’ action was a test case for as many as 10 others being taken in the High Court in relation to alleged exposure. It is understood these cases will be mentioned before the court in the new year.

The terms of the settlement are confidential. Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told the case could be struck out.

Mr Quirke SC, with Richard Lyons SC, said previously the alleged exposure has had a cruel effect on Mr Matthews’ life and his retirement is completely altered from what he expected.

Mr Matthews worked as a carpenter and the court heard he was involved in “pop outs” where the chemical was poured.

Mr Matthews, of Ardee Road, Dundalk, Co Louth had sued his employer Ardmac Ltd with registered offices at Swords Business Campus, Balheary Rod, Swords, Co Dublin and Intel Ireland Ltd with registered offices at Simmonscourt House, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin. The refurbishment works on an Intel clean room were being carried out by Ardmac at the Intel planet in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Mr Matthews had claimed he was allegedly exposed to toxic and noxious chemicals including Penatron/ASTC 3003c between June 2013 and October 2014 while he was working at the plant.

He further claimed there was an alleged failure to have regard to the fact that the system of work devised allegedly involved being exposed to a sensitising agent, and they developed symptoms allegedly consistent with being exposed to noxious fumes or toxic chemical agents.

All the claims were denied.