Belfast Telegraph

Family is awarded £5k over oil spillage

A family is to receive more than £5,000 compensation for the "unpleasantness" of having neighbours' oil spill onto their land, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Gillen reduced their original award by £2,000 based on an evaluation of the discomfort and inconvenience suffered.

Together with their children, Kevin and Karen O'Neill sued Graham and Ella Tomlinson after oil escaped onto their property at Parklands, Antrim, in 2008.

Earlier this year a County Court judge awarded the plaintiffs £7,500 in general damages.

That payout was appealed to the High Court.

In evidence Mrs O'Neill told how she noticed an increasingly strong odour on her property.

She said her family suffered headaches, stuffy noses and illness, which they originally thought was a virus or winter bug.

It was then discovered to have been caused by oil from the defendants' tank, the court heard.

In a ruling made in July but only published yesterday, Mr Justice Gillen pointed out that the purpose of awarding damages against the defendants for the nuisance caused was not to punish them, but to try to restore the plaintiff's position.

Belfast Telegraph

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