Claims News

Widow Awarded €170,000 in Accidental Death Compensation Case

Posted on: July 20th, 2019

Eileen Flannery, the widow of Martin Flannery who died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, has settled her accidental death compensation action for €170,000 at the High Court.

The High Court was told that Mr Flannery, on September 11, 2015, was seeing if the petrol generators that were in place to heat a newly-constructed house for his niece were powered on. The house in question was being heated overnight ahead of a first fix airtight test that was due to take place the following day.

Mr Martin Flannery had checked on the power generators at 10.30am and was due to return and check on them again after dropping his wife to the local town. At 12.30pm the air tight specialist called to the house to complete the test he switched off one of the generators that was still powered on. He then noticed a strange smell and became dizzy as he went upstairs in the building.

Upon becoming dizzy he departed the house to recuperate and upon returning inside he discovered Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. The tester pulled Mr Flannery outside and attempted to resuscitate him. Sadly, Mr.Flannery was brought to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An official inquest into the death of Martin Flannery (66)  recorded a verdict of accidental death and the coroner John O’Dwyer said the man was merely helping his brother and his niece.

Mr Flannery’s wife of 42 years, Eileen, took the accidental death compensation claim against the owners of the property – Declan Costello and her husband’s niece Laura Costello.

In the legal action if was claimed there was not adequate ventilation in place in the building, that the house has been allegedly allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and that the house was not cordoned off while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe. The legal representatives for the defence denied these allegations.

Presiding Judge Justice Tom Cross was told that, when the accident occurred, the house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for later that very day. The house was required to be heated before this test the house. Due to this two fan heaters and an oil heater were being used on the property. These heaters were powered by two petrol generators as electricity had not yet been connected to the house. The heaters had been switched off during the previous evening.

Justice Cross gave his approval for the €170,000 settlement in the accidental death compensation case.

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