Woman kicked out of home by toxic spill calls for more damage repairs
A woman who had to abandon her Dublin 4 home due to a toxic chemical spill on a neighbor’s property has claimed in the High Court that repair work is causing further damage to her home.
Last year Sharon Keane and her two children had to leave their family home at 22 Grand Canal Street, Dublin 4 following a spill of a dangerous chemical called Xylene which was stored on the property of her neighbors Thomas and Bronwyn Dunne.
In the High Court on Friday, Ms Keane obtained a temporary injunction from Judge Max Barrett preventing construction, repair and construction work from being carried out on the Dunnes property at 20 Grand Canal Street.
Work is to cease pending an inspection and study of the property by Keane’s consulting engineers as to the extent of excavations carried out by the defendants and their contractors, the court ordered.
The order was sought because of Ms Keane’s concerns that the work currently underway on the Dunnes’ property is causing further damage to the plaintiff’s home.
Her lawyer, Gary McCarthy SC, commissioned by Bunbury Darcy Solicitors, said the strong fumes and odors which severely affected their health from the xylene spill in September 2020 forced Ms Keane and her children to leave their home.
His house is adjacent to the Dunnes’ property, and the xylene contamination has caused “considerable upheaval” and distress for the family.
She was advised to evacuate her home, due to the risk to their health, after investigations were carried out by agencies such as the Dublin Fire Department, the EPA and experts hired by Ms Keane, said the ‘lawyer.
The family had to spend the last year in rented accommodation.
It was “a mystery” to his client why xylene, which is used as a solvent and paint thinner, was stored in cans by the Dunnes in their basement, the lawyer added.
The lawyer said that in June major repair work, including the removal of the basement, to repair the damage began on the Dunnes property.
Ms Keane expressed concern about this as there has been no agreed coordinated response between the parties regarding the major repair work.
in recent days, the attorney said Ms Keane’s concerns were heightened after a large crack appeared in the hallway of her property.
The bad smell and noxious fumes that were present last year after the contamination was first detected had also returned.
Attempts were made to contact the Dunnes and their insurance company, seeking to stop the work, it is claimed.
Workers at Dunnes Property and Dunne’s Insurance Company have been made aware of the situation.
The workers said they would stop if their superiors asked them to, but denied that the work had caused damage to Ms Keane’s home, the lawyer said.
However, there was no response from the Dunnes and the work continued, the lawyer said.
Ms Dunne is now concerned that the ongoing work will cause further damage to her property, the lawyer said.
In light of his concerns, it was “astonishing” that work on the Dunnes’ property had not stopped, the lawyer said, adding that they had no choice but to appear in court. .
The lawyer said that after a year of being away from the property, it was in his client’s best interest to have the matter settled as soon as possible.
Due to recent developments and the inability to address his client’s concerns, the lawyer said his client is asking the court for an injunction to stop the work until his experts can perform an inspection of the work.
In the High Court on Friday evening, Judge Barrett said he was happy to grant the requested order.
The injunction was granted ex parte. The judge returned the case to a later date this month.