Roberts Jackson Wins Landmark De Minimis Hearing Loss Case
Roberts Jackson Solicitors assisted by barrister Henry Vanderpump of St John’s Buildings Chambers have recently won a case involving several issues that relate to the level of noise exposure their client had suffered throughout his working life.
The Claimant had worked as an electrician at the Defendant’s factory in Dertiend, Birmingham for 10 years. The Defendant produced valves, washers and other alloyed metallic objects that had various uses. During the course of his employment, the Claimant was exposed to excessive levels of noise from presses and other machinery that was used by the Defendant. He began noticing a problem with his hearing recently and enquired whether his hearing could have been affected by noise he had been exposed to in the past. He was diagnosed with suffering from 2.02dB noise induced hearing loss by a medical expert in 2014.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors went about obtaining detailed medical evidence about the Claimant’s condition and jointly instructed an engineering expert, who was assisted by a thorough and comprehensive Claimant witness statement, in order to prove that the Claimant’s injury had been caused by the Defendant’s negligence.
The issue with a case of this type is the amount of hearing loss the Claimant was suffering from which had been caused by the noise exposure. The Claimant was not suffering from any tinnitus. The Defendant argued that this was a “de-minimis” case in that the Claimant had not been left appreciably worse off by having such a low level of loss.
The Defendant also argued that Claimant could not prove that the Defendant had breached their duty of care towards him, and in any event, the Claim was statute barred under the Limitation Act 1980 as he had left his employment with the company over 30 years ago.
Due to the coherent medical, engineering, and Claimant witness evidence that was presented, the trial Judge at Birmingham County Court accepted that Claimant had been left appreciably worse off as a result of the Defendant’s negligence. The Defendant was ordered to pay £2219.87 (net) in damages to the Claimant.
Roberts Jackson would like to thank Henry for his assistance in this matter and for arguing the case to a successful conclusion on behalf of our client. We would also like to extend that thanks to engineering expert who assisted in the case. This case will bring hope to many claimants facing the uphill battle of bringing complex Noise Induced hearing loss matters to a successful conclusion especially in light of the recent changes taking place within the legal sector.