Industrial Deafness Case Study

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Thompsons industrial deafness solicitors were contacted by our client, a 64-year-old Scottish man, as a result of a 2015 appointment with an audiologist in which he was diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

The background

Our client began employment as a baggage handler at Aberdeen Airport in March 1976, later transferring to Aberdeen International Airport where he became an operations officer in 1979, a role he continued to perform until his retirement in 2017.

As well as being exposed to significant amounts of engine noise in his role, the client also made use of firearms for bird control duties, firing shots between two and 15 times a day.

Thompsons' solicitors interviewed both the claimant and his former colleagues and, based on their statements, we believed that there had been breaches of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations during the course of our client's employment.

As such, we decided there was a reasonable prospect of securing industrial deafness compensation so decided to intimate a claim for compensation on the basis of our evidence, which, in addition to witness statements, also included extensive medical records.

An expert medical report was a obtained from a consultant otolaryngologist; this confirmed that the client was suffering from occupational noise-induced hearing loss.

The settlement

Although we submitted supportive medical reports and evidence summaries to the insurers pre-litigation and invited their settlement proposals, we did not receive a satisfactory response. As such, we raised court proceedings in the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh.

During this process we instructed an acoustic consultant to prepare an additional report. He confirmed that the defenders had been in breach of their duties. We further attempted to negotiate settlement on this basis. However, the case proceeded to a pre-trial meeting in which no settlement offer was made.

Eventually, the defender tendered an offer of £10,000. We advised the client that this was too low and the offer was rejected. On 10 May 2019, the defender made another offer, this time for £12,000. We advised this was a fair valuation and the offer was accepted by our client.

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