Widow of man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning settles action for €170,000

Action taken against niece of dead man in whose house he was overcome by fumes

In the High Court this week, the dead man’s  widow Eileen Flannery  settled an action over his death for €170,000.

In the High Court this week, the dead man’s widow Eileen Flannery settled an action over his death for €170,000.

 

A pensioner was overcome and died of carbon monoxide poisoning after he went to check on a house where petrol generators were turned on to power the heating of a newly constructed building.

Martin Flannery was found unconscious in his niece’s newly built house next door to his Co Mayo home four years ago.

The house was being heated in advance of a first fix airtight test.

In the High Court this week, Mr Flannery’s widow Eileen settled an action over his death for €170,000.

An inquest into the 66-year-old man’s death recorded a verdict of accidental death.

At the time the coroner said Mr Flannery was obliging his brother and niece by checking on the house and sadly the effects were “devastating.”

The tragedy, coroner John O’Dwyer said, was compounded by the fact most of those involved were related to one another.

Mr Flannery was found unconscious in a room at the back of the house and, despite efforts to revive him, was pronounced dead in hospital.

Eileen Flannery, Kilkeeran, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, had sued Mr Flannery’s niece Laura Costello and her husband Declan Costello also of Kilkeeran, Ballinrobe, as a result of the accident on September 11th 2015.

It was claimed there was a failure to have any proper or adequate system of ventilation and that the house had been allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and to constitute a serious hazard for those entering the premises.

It was further claimed there was failure to cordon off the house while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe for those entering the premises.

The claims were denied.

Switched off overnight

The house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for later that day. The house had to be heated before the test and two fan heaters and an oil heater were set up off two petrol generators, as electricity had not yet been connected to the house.

Both generators had been operated in the house the night before for about an hour and were switched off overnight.

The next day on September 11,2015 the generators were turned on again. Mr Flannery had checked on the generators at 10.30am and was due to check on them again after bringing his wife to town.

When the air tight specialist arrived to carry out his test at around 12.30pm he switched off one of the generators. He noticed a smell and became woozy as he walked up the stairs. He left the house but on return he found Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. He dragged the man outside but despite efforts to revive him, Mr Flannery was later pronounced dead in hospital.