Case Study: Foreman Claims for Industrial Deafness

JMW's industrial disease team have successfully won a £9,000 settlement for a man who was left with hearing loss and severe tinnitus following years of exposure to loud noise during his working years.

The Case

Mr W began working as a labourer at the age of 15 and, in subsequent jobs, spent much time engaged in extremely loud work, such as using jackhammers to break up road surfaces. At the age of 50, Mr W was suffering from severe tinnitus and hearing loss that was affecting his everyday life. After learning that these problems could be the fault of his previous employers, Mr W contacted JMW Solicitors to enquire about making a claim. Subsequent investigation led to an award of £9,000 in damages to Mr W, who had been left with permanent hearing loss, severe tinnitus and the need of hearing aids.

The Claim

After Mr W contacted JMW, industrial disease solicitors, Abigail Morrison and Aneela Ahmed worked on his case. It was quickly apparent that one of Mr W’s early employers, a company called the Eurovia Group, were to be the defendants in the claim. While working for Eurovia Group, Mr W had been exposed to loud noise for successive hours every day and was never provided with hearing protection. The noise was so excessive that Mr W reported going home from work with the sounds of jackhammers ringing in his ears into the evening. He also remembered complaining about the noise to his supervisor and asking for protection, but his employers did not take his complaints seriously.

Investigating the Case

In order to investigate Mr W’s claim, the industrial disease team collected witness statements from Mr W and one of his colleagues from the Eurovia Group. This witness could testify to the excess of loud noise that was an everyday feature of work at the Eurovia Group, and the lack of provision of hearing protection from this employer. It was also arranged for Mr W to see a medical specialist who could assess the damage to his ears. After examining Mr W, the consultant concluded that our client was suffering from bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and that damage to his hearing had caused him to require earlier use of hearing aids than would have otherwise been the case.

The team also sought evidence of Mr W’s employment history, which included work with other building firms. It was found that subsequent to working for the Eurovia Group, Mr W had been provided with hearing protection and had been made aware of the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss. As such, it seemed clear that it was Mr W’s time under the employ of the Eurovia Group that had caused severe and permanent damage to his ears.

Mr W said of the claims process: "I knew that these claims were very long-winded processes and that all the 'T's must be crossed and the 'I's must be dotted to ensure that no mistakes were made. I was always kept informed as to the progress of the claim and all of the people I spoke to were very understanding and very professional."

Settling the Claim

With witness statements, employment history and medical evidence gathered, both sides looked to settle Mr W’s claim. Initially, the defendant made an offer of £7,000, which was turned down by Mr W on the advice of Aneela who deemed this to be a low offer. In negotiations with the defendant’s solicitors, Aneela emphasised Mr W’s need for specialist hearing aids and tinnitus therapy, explaining that these considerations warranted a higher settlement. Finally, the defendant made an offer of £9,000 net damages and Mr W was delighted to accept this offer.

After the case was finalised Mr W said: "Everyone was extremely helpful, but my experience was made much better when Aneela Ahmed became involved. She was so thorough and was constantly calling me to let me know how things were moving so I owe her a huge thank you."

Talk to Us

If you or anyone you know has become aware of hearing loss within the last three years and believe this is due to your job (current or previous), feel free to contact Andrew Lilley on 0161 828 1958 or fill in our contact form for free no obligation advice.

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