Allan McRae, 46, who once worked with top couturier Norman Hartnell, was exposed to the fumes over a 14-year period in his council studio flat in Islington, north London. He said resulting health problems caused his business to fail in 1983. Ten years later, he was made redundant from a teaching post and remains unemployed, the High Court was told. Doctors have diagnosed frontal-lobe brain damage, which affects memory.
In December 1992, Mr McRae reported a faulty gas fire to the London Borough of Camden, from whom he let the flat in 1979. It was finally disconnected in February 1993. A spokesman for the borough said: "We accept that ultimate responsibility lies with the council", and added that in the past 18 months, rigorous checks on gas appliances had been carried out in nearly 30,000 homes.Reuse content