A FORMER Halton man poisoned by a chemical with effects similar to CS gas has won his claim for damages against mobile phone giant O2.
Andrew Heston, formerly of Widnes, took the company to train at Manchester County Court after contracted cleaners at the Preston Brook call centre used hazardous chemicals to clean the toilets.
Mr Heston's wife Diane said: 'On the day of the incident he went to the toilet. He entered the toilets and walked into a cubicle, before he even had time to close the door, he felt a stabbing pain up his nose and his eyes began to stream.
'He had difficulty breathing and fell to his knees. Having managed to crawl out of the cubicle he staggered out of the toilets in visible distress and discomfort.'
A security guard checked the toilets and suffered the same symptoms, which he likened to his experience of being exposed to CS Gas while serving in the forces.
Mrs Heston added: 'He was kept in Halton Hospital overnight having been treated for full decontamination. He continued to suffer from breathlessness, coughing and fatigue.'
For a period of months following his ordeal Mr Heston continued to suffer the physical effects of the chemical exposure, including respiratory problems.
A claim was brought against O2 under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, Regulation 7 (1).
Medical experts for both sides agreed that Mr Heston had been exposed to chemical fumes causing irritant effects and respiratory symptoms.
At trial the judge found O2 were in breach of Regulation 7 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and awarded damages to Mr Heston.