Damages for permanent bilateral sensorineural hearing loss caused by exposure to excessive noise at work

In Blog by AAH

   This gives you, the reader an idea of how injury damages are worked out by lawyers and the courts. One can never have physical damage repaired, but injury law allows courts to compensate victims of wrong in financial terms ———————————————————————————————
 MILLER v ARGOS LTD (2011)  

The claimant, a 37-year-old man, received £7,000 for the permanent bilateral sensorineural hearing loss sustained when he was exposed to excessive noise during the course of his employment between 2001 and 2009.

Between 2001 and 2009 the claimant (C) was employed by the defendant company (D). Between 2001 and 2003, C worked as a general team member. That role involved him working in most parts of the warehouse, during which time he was exposed to noise. In 2003 he moved to the goods-in warehouse where he loaded and unloaded wagons The warehouse had eight bays for goods-in and a further eight or nine for dispatch. C was exposed to excessive levels of noise generated by the wagons, dock levellers, pump trucks and forklift trucks, all of which operated simultaneously within the warehouse.

C was provided with hearing protection during 2007. He had access to ear plugs and ear muffs and it was mandatory to wear that protection. C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in exposing him to excessive levels of noise without adequate protection.

Liability admitted.

Injuries: C sustained bilateral mild high frequency sensorineural hearing loss.

Effects: C’s sustained noise induced hearing loss of 11.9dB. He struggled to watch the television unless the volume was raised and his missed parts of conversations. He did not suffer from tinnitus.

Prognosis: C’s hearing loss was permanent.

The case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant’s solicitor: Out of court settlement: £7,000 total damages

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £6,500; Allowance for hearing aids: £500.

This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Madelene Holdsworth of Pannone LLP, solicitor