Noise Induced Hearing Loss - Divisible Claim With Insurance Issues
I was instructed by this client to pursue a claim against a former employer for the Noise Induced Hearing Loss he has suffered as a result of his sustained exposure to noise during the course of his employment , Crankshaw Pembertons.
The employers were a paper manufacturers and the client worked for them for a number of years firstly as a counter reels man and then as a bag tackler or a machinist. In this role he was operating a paper bag manufacturing machine. This machine produced both printed and plain paper bags and when he was working he spent most of his time on top of the machine to ensure the paper reels that were fed into the machine to make the bags did not rip or that the ink and glue did not run out.
Even if he was not on top of the machine he was never more than a couple of feet away from it while it was running.
The client was employed by the employers for a number of years and this was his only noisy employer. The employer admitted breach of duty very early. However, this case was not without difficulty.
Whilst we were able to trace the employers without too much difficulty we encountered significant problems in identifying the insurers for the duration of the claimant’s employment. At first we were only able to trace insurance cover for about 2.5% of the total period of employment . The insurers tried to buy off the claim by making a small offer of compensation to reflect the fact that there was only insurance for about 2.5% of the employment period. The advice to the client was to reject this offer, as there was some prospect of finding the other insurers, thus extracting a better monetary offer.
I carried out significant further enquiries to ascertain whether or not any other details could be found for the missing insurers. After lengthy enquiries, I was able to trace all but 10% of the employer’s insurers.
As a result we were able to negotiate a favourable settlement.