Man launches legal action over claims of exposure to noxious chemicals at Intel plant

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    High-Court Dublin

    A man has filed a High Court action alleging that he was exposed to a harmful and noxious chemical while working on a refurbishment job at the Intel Ireland plant.

    John Matthews (71), who suffers from shortness of breath, has a chronic prognosis seven years after the alleged exposure, his barrister, Barney Quirke SC, told the High Court.

    The claims concern the refurbishment of a clean room at the Intel plant where microchips are created, as well as the pouring of a chemical sealant called Penatron/ASTC 3003c.

    Mr Matthews’ case is being viewed as a test case for up to ten other actions being brought in the High Court in relation to alleged exposure.

    Mr Quirke SC, instructed by solicitor Mark Tiernan, stated in opening the hearing that the claimed exposure has had a terrible effect on the father-of-four. He stated that his retirement has taken an entirely different path than he anticipated.

    Mr Matthews worked as a carpenter and was involved in “pop outs” when the chemical Penatron was spilled.

    Mr Matthews of Ardee Road, Dundalk, Co Louth, has sued his employer Ardmac Ltd of Swords Business Campus, Balheary Rod, Swords, Co Dublin, and Intel Ireland Ltd of Simmonscourt House, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Ardmac was responsible for renovating an Intel clean room at the Intel Leixlip, Co Kildare facility.

    Exposure to toxins

    Mr Matthews claims he was exposed to harmful and noxious chemicals, including Penatron/ASTC 3003c, while working at the Intel Leixlip plant between June 2013 and October 2014.

    Additionally, he asserted that a number of his coworkers were allegedly exposed to known carcinogens.

    He has also accused an alleged failure to take into account the fact that the system of work created exposed Mr Matthews and his coworkers to a sensitising agent and they experienced symptoms associated with exposure to noxious fumes or poisonous chemical agents.

    Additionally, it is alleged that there was an alleged failure to consider Mr Matthews’ and co-workers’ alleged symptoms, which reportedly improved while they were not at work but allegedly recurred or deteriorated following alleged exposure to the agent.

    Additionally, it was stated that a failure to adjust the work system and take all essential actions or supply all necessary equipment to prevent harmful exposure to sensitising agents occurred. It is stated that there was a failure to consider the possibility that repeated or excessive exposure could result in lung damage, irritation or contact dermatitis, and other harmful symptoms and conditions. Each claim is denied. Mr Quirke stated in his opening statement that Mr Matthews was 63 years old at the time of the alleged exposure.

    Counsel stated that Mr Matthews suffered from stinging in his eyes, blisters on his tongue, and other symptoms consistent with exposure to allegedly harmful chemicals. Wednesday marks the continuation of the case before Mr Justice Paul Coffey.

    Click here for Irish Times article.

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