9 Nov 2009

Defence opens in heater poisoning case

7:37 pm on 9 November 2009

A Wellington gasfitter has denied that faulty workmanship left a Kapiti Coast woman with permanent brain damage as a result of gas poisoning from an incorrectly installed heater.

Amanda Pickard has asked the High Court in Wellington to award her and her son $1.6 million in damages from Chas Ambrose and the heater distributor, Rinnai New Zealand.

Ms Pickard says Mr Ambrose installed the wrong flue system on the heater, which allowed it to pour toxic carbon monoxide gas in her lounge for three years.

The gasfitter's lawyer Ian Hunt told the court on Monday that the flue system Mr Ambrose used was installed based on advice from Rinnai.

Mr Hunt said after complaints from Ms Pickard his client did various tests but couldn't find any gas leaks.

He said Ms Pickard breached assurances that she wouldn't use the heater until Mr Ambrose completed installation when her renovations were finished and she never called him back to do that work.