Insights

£550,000 for Ex-Marine With Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

A man who suffered damage to his hearing while serving in the Royal Marines has secured compensation totalling almost £550,000 from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Alistair Inglis joined the Royal Marines in 1997, at the age of 17. In the course of his service he was exposed to noise from thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as grenades and aircraft. Tests carried out between 2006 and 2010 showed he was suffering from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and his hearing was expected to deteriorate further. He applied for voluntary discharge in 2011 and left the Marines the following year.

He brought a claim against the MoD. The MoD accepted 80 per cent liability but disputed the amount of compensation he should receive, questioning the extent of the damage to his hearing and arguing that he had left the Marines to take up a higher-paid job in maritime security.

Ruling on Mr Inglis's claim, the High Court found that he had left the Marines because he was suffering from NIHL and was worried about further damage to his hearing. His condition had a negative impact on his working life, making it difficult to hear what people said during meetings and when talking on the phone. Using hearing aids alleviated these difficulties only slightly.

The Court conducted a detailed analysis of the effect of Mr Inglis's hearing loss on his likely earnings. A deduction was made to take account of his higher earnings after leaving the Marines, but the award includes substantial amounts for loss of future earnings and pension entitlements. He was awarded a total of £545,766.

View my profile
    • 01689 887806
    • 07880 555560
    • View profile
NIHL is irreversible and can cause considerable social impairment. The maximum hearing loss is at the frequencies at which the distinctive features of certain sounds occur. A common first indicator is if you can hear what people say but they seem to be mumbling and pronouncing their words indistinctly.

If you think your work may have caused damage to your hearing, contact us for advice.
Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.