Noise at Work

INGLIS Vs Ministry of Defence

Alistair Inglis 39 NIHL RV Acoustics

In a High Court ruling yesterday, a former Royal Marine has been awarded £545,766 in damages after claiming that the Ministry of Defence failed to provide him with adequate hearing protection whilst on tour in Afghanistan, resulting in Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

Alastair Inglis, 39, planned to serve for 22 years but claimed his hearing loss and tinnitus forced him to resign in May 2012 after nearly 15 years.

At the Royal Courts of Justice in London (4th to 7th March), the MoD admitted his hearing loss and tinnitus arose ‘as a result of his negligent exposure to noise whilst serving in the Royal Marines’, and agreed liability. While it was once accepted that the extraordinary noise levels were part and parcel of military life, by admitting liability ahead of the hearing, the MoD has acknowledged that it could and should have done more to protect its personnel from hearing loss.

Judge Peter Marquand told the High Court in London he found Mr Inglis had ‘left the Royal Marines because of his hearing loss’ and ruled that the MoD should pay him £545,766.60.

After the ruling, his solicitor Simon Ellis said the judge’s decision acknowledged the avoidable suffering and damage caused by a lack of protection for members of the armed forces. He said: “The compensation awarded recognises the significant impact that Mr Inglis’ injuries will have on his earning capacity, both now and for much of the rest of his life”.

There are currently 200 other service veterans at present suing the MoD over alleged hearing loss.

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