Ex-BT Engineer's hearing problems were caused by exposure to noise at work


An ex-employee of BT engineer who suffered from industrial deafness has been successful in a claim for compensation.

Industrial Deafness

Industrial Deafness at BT

The 63-year-old retiree had worked for BT originally as an apprentice. His apprenticeship lasted for 3 years but in his third year, he worked as a maintenance jointer. When he finished his apprenticeship, he stayed with BT and continued to work as a BT engineer for 19 years. During this time, he was exposed to large amounts of noise due to the tools he was employed to use. He would often have to turn up his headphones to drown out background noise on the job. These same headphones also gave a lot of feedback, speaking noises and other interference making it difficult to work with them on the job.

We met with the man in one of our Simpson Millar LLP offices to discuss his claim. From the information we gathered that day we were able to take a statement based on his experience of events and discuss the possibility of going ahead with a medical report. We advised that a medical report would help to strengthen his claim against BT.

Medical Confirms Industrial Deafness

The medical report confirmed our suspicions that it was his time as a BT engineer that caused his industrial deafness. Armed with this evidence, we wrote to BT to start the claim. The medical report also recommended that the retiree see an audiologist to assess his need for hearing aids and produce a report as to the likely costs of buying them.

Before the formal diagnosis, the man was at a loss with what to do about his industrial deafness. His family members, including his wife, would complain that he was hard of hearing. He could not hear conversations on the phone if there was noise in the background. On top of this he found it hard to socialise with friends.

Now, equipped with the right evidence, Simpson Millar LLP could pursue BT for the compensation that could change the man's life.

We met with BT's legal department to talk about the case. During the meeting, BT made an offer of £8,000 in compensation to put an end to the claim. We negotiated further and BT offered an increased amount of £9,500.

We immediately got back to the man and told him the good news and he accepted the offer of £9,500. If he were to carry on with the claim in court, he may not have got a better offer, and this would take longer.

Top Tips to Take Home

  • By co-operating with your solicitor in completing a medical report – you can see a huge boost to your claim by diagnosing your injuries and their cause
  • Try to choose a solicitor that is experienced in negotiating settlements
  • Your solicitor will always try to get you the best offer at the end of your claim - trust their judgment

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