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Hearing Damage & Tinnitus Case Study

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Out of Court Settlement 19/09/2011

The claimant, a 62-year-old man, received £10,000 total damages after he developed noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus after been exposed to excessive noise during his employment as a mechanical fitter between 1976 and 2004.

Claimant: Male: 62 years old at date of settlement

Employers’ Liability: Noise-induced hearing loss. The claimant (C) was employed by the Defendant (D) as a mechanical fitter between 1976 and 2004. During that time he was exposed to excessive and continuous noise such as was likely to damage hearing and cause deafness; this included metal plating and welding, repairing and grinding metal, and hammering metal pins from beams,

In addition to the mechanical noise generated by the constant revving of plant engines etc. C had not been provided with any protective equipment in the form of ear defenders, nor any health and safety training to make him aware of the risk of hearing damage.

C sustained an injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in failing to provide him with protective equipment or any appropriate health and safety training.

Breach of duty was conceded but causation denied.

Injuries: Irreversible hearing damage and associated tinnitus

Effects: Expert evidence confirmed C’s hearing loss far exceeded that expected from age-related changes. C’s hearing loss and associated tinnitus were apportioned to be 78.5 per cent due to C’s working environment with D and the remaining 21.5 percent due to the normal ageing process.

Hearing aids were recommended at a cost of £180 per aid plus yearly maintenance of £30.

Out of Court Settlement: £10,000 total damages

The case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by C’s solicitors:

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: Settlement figure £10,000.00.

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