Man suing over foam insulation agrees investigation found no air quality problem

Court told man claims he was exposed to toxic chemicals after insulation was installed

In court on Thursday, Patrick Duffy agreed an August 2016 report of air quality in his home was “fine” but said he was fearful and was “not going to take that risk again”. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

In court on Thursday, Patrick Duffy agreed an August 2016 report of air quality in his home was “fine” but said he was fearful and was “not going to take that risk again”. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

A man who claims he was exposed to toxic chemicals after spray foam insulation was installed in his home has agreed before the High Court that an air quality investigation six months later found no problem with the house air quality.

Patrick Duffy has said he had to move his family out of the dream home he had built by the sea in Donegal after the insulation was installed in February 2016.

In court on Thursday, he agreed an August 2016 report of air quality in his home was “fine” but said he was fearful and was “not going to take that risk again”.

Mr Duffy, his wife Anita and their young daughter moved to a relative’s holiday home after the insulation was installed in their home. They then moved to a mobile home where they remain.

Cross examined by John Paul Shortt SC, for the insulation contractor, Mr Duffy agreed he had used the air quality report when they sold the house and contents last year for €235,000. They had used the report, which deemed the house habitable, to give the purchaser peace of mind, he said.

Counsel asked him why he didn’t move back into the house when he received the air quality report in August 2016 which concluded there was no problem with air quality.

Mr Duffy replied: “There was the fear, we were made so sick. I am not going to take that chance with me or my family.”

When counsel put to him that reaction was “over the top”, he said he didn’t think so.

It was the second day of the action by Mr Duffy (45), Meenderryowen, Annagry, Co Donegal.

He has sued Brendan McGee trading as McGee Insulation Services, Largenreach, Downings, Letterkenny, who was responsible for the installation and application of spray foam insulation at the family home on February 18th, 2016.

He has also sued GMS Insulations Ltd, Legga, Moyne, Co Longford which imports and supplies spray foam insulation material.

It is claimed the spray foam insulation was imported from outside the EU by GMS Insulations which supplied it to McGee Insulation.

It is claimed Mr McGee reassured Mr Duffy it was safe to remain in his home during the installation process and immediately afterwards.

It is further claimed Mr Duffy was informed the product was entirely safe and did not give off any fumes.

He claims he was exposed to toxic chemicals.

The claims are denied by both defendants. Mr McGee further pleads contributory negligence on the part of Mr Duffy whom he claims was advised to stay away from the house during the installation.

GMS Insulations contends, if Mr Duffy did suffer injuries it bears no liability in law.

Mr Duffy has claimed he suffered damage to the airway tract and now coughs constantly. He told the court his family “now live in a bubble” as they have become sensitised to other products and need to avoid other people.

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues on Friday.