I am a CWU member – Can I make a claim for hearing loss?


A 59-year-old CWU member made a successful claim for hearing loss with the help of Simpson Millar LLP. Hearing Loss

Employed From a Young Age

The man's work history was straightforward. BT had employed him since the age of 16 after leaving school. To this very day, he still works for BT despite his claim for hearing loss. Having only worked for BT over the years, the hearing loss had to have happened whilst he was working for BT.

He started an apprenticeship with the company and spent 6 months carrying out underground cabling and jointing work. He would often use equipment that exposed him to high levels of noise. He recalled there being loud tones through his equipment and 'clunking and clicking'. After he finished his apprenticeship he carried on his work as a field engineer.

A few years before making a claim, the man went to his doctors complaining about problems with his hearing. His GP confirmed he had indeed suffered hearing loss. This was worse in his left ear, the ear in which he used a headset to listen to the tones. He also suffered almost constant tinnitus in his left ear. He could hear high-pitched whistling whilst going about his day, or even when trying to sleep.

The Effects of Hearing Loss

As he was still employed by BT, the man found that his hearing loss significantly affected his work. He found it hard to follow team meetings and his phone had to be turned to the highest volume for him to hear it. If there was a lot of talking all at once, it was difficult for him to follow a conversation. His personal life was also affected as he found it hard to socialise with friends when there was a lot of background noise.

After suffering for a considerable amount of time, the man looked into buying his own digital hearing aid. He soon found out they were quite expensive and he simply could not afford the price. Because of this, he had to make do with a provisional hearing aid under the NHS. These are often of a lower quality than a digital hearing aid but in the man's position he simply had no choice.

Although the man gave us a lot of information during our first meeting with him, we felt it necessary to follow up with a medical report to make his claim stronger. The medical report confirmed he had a claim for hearing loss and tinnitus. This gave Simpson Millar LLP the good start they needed to bring his claim for hearing loss against BT.

We took the information we had gathered and went into negotiations with BT to get the CWU member the settlement he deserved. At first, they valued his claim at £8,500. On further negotiation, we managed to push them to a maximum claim of £9,500. We urged the man to accept the offer, which he did, as he may not have achieved such a good settlement in court.

Top Tips to Take Home

  • A good solicitor will be able to make a successful claim for hearing loss on your behalf
  • Don't be afraid to bring a claim
  • Are you a member of a trade union? – If so, they may be able to put you in contact with a reputable solicitor

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