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Compensation for BT Engineers Hearing Injuries to Face Challenges

Posted: June 29th, 2012

BT has announced that it will be withdrawing its Statute of Limitations amnesty in respect of compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries with effect from 1st January 2013.

Following the company´s admission in August 2010 that it exposed engineers who used the green oscillating and amplifying equipment to trace, repair and install BT telephone lines to an excessive level of noise likely to cause injury, claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries have been mostly settled out of court for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds depending on the extent of injury.

Currently, BT engineers and former employees of the company who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using BT´s green and unmodified yellow testing sets are able to settle their claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries irrespective of when their injury occurred.

However, at the end of this year, BT plans to enforce a strict three-year time limit from the date on which an engineer or former engineer is diagnosed with a hearing problem in which to make a claim for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries, after which time the company will be contesting liability.

The same three-year time limit will be imposed on all claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries made by engineers who suffered an injury due to working in close proximity to kango hammers and jack hammers without hearing protection being provided.

Although the new limit will not affect anybody who has recently been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to the negligence of BT, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any employee or former employee considering claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Please note: Not all BT hearing loss claims are settled before court. In January 2012, a former BT engineer´s claim for hearing compensation was informed in Cardiff County Court after BT disputed the engineer´s claim for special damages in relation to the cost of a private hearing aid. BT contended that an NHS hearing aid should work perfectly well, however the judge upheld the claim and the former engineer received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his claim for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries.

BT Applies Limits to Workers´ Claims for Hearing Injury Compensation

Posted: June 12th, 2012

BT has announced that – in accordance with the Statute of Limitations – the company will be applying limits to BT worker´s claims for hearing injury compensation with effect from 1st January 2013.

This announcement reverses a statement made subsequent to the Watkins v British Telecommunications court case in August 2010, in which the company acknowledged that it had exposed former engineers to excessive levels of noise likely to cause injury by supplying them with hazardous oscillating and amplifying equipment to install, trace and repair BT telephone lines.

At the time of the court case, BT said that it would allow all future BT workers and former BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation without time limitation where the engineer had been provided with green and unmodified yellow testing sets; and this paved the way for many former employees who had suffered a loss of hearing to recover compensation from injuries sustained as far back as the 1960s.

Currently, BT workers and former employees of British Telecommunications who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury attributable to the company´s negligence are able to settle their BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation out of court irrespective of when their injury was diagnosed – with most claims being settled for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds.

However, from January 2013, BT intends to apply a three-year time limit on BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation from the date on which a BT worker or former BT worker is diagnosed with hearing loss problem; after which time, should a period of more than three years elapse between the diagnosis of an injury and the receipt of a claim, the company will challenge their liability for the injury.

Although the announcement will make little difference to current and former BT workers who recently have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using the green and unmodified yellow testing sets, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any BT worker or former worker who is suffering from a hearing injury to seek legal advice at the first practical opportunity.

Please note: Not all BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation are settled out of court. In January 2012, a BT worker´s hearing injury claim was heard in Cardiff County Court (Dew v British Telecommunications) after BT disputed the former worker´s claim which included the cost of a privately purchased hearing aid. The judge upheld the claim and the former BT worker received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his BT worker´s claim for hearing injury compensation.

Offshore Oil Worker Awarded 160,000 Pounds for Hand Injury Compensation

Posted: March 27th, 2012

An offshore oil worker, who sustained terrible hand injuries while working on a North Sea semi-submersible rig, has been awarded 160,000 pounds in hand injury compensation at Edinburgh’s Court of Session.

Lord Robin Gilmour McEwan was told how Martin Brand (27) of Slateford Gait in Edinburgh, had been employed by the offshore drilling company, Transocean, in May 2006 when the hydraulic slips on the submersible moved as he was cleaning a pipe section.

Martin’s hand was crushed between two sections of the submersible and as a result of the incident had to have two fingers from his right hand partly amputated. Despite returning to work after receiving treatment, was unable to continue working offshore as a trainee driller due to his injury.

Transocean accepted liability in the subsequent claim against them, and paid Martin an interim payment of 40,000 pounds last year in respect of the pain and suffering he had experienced. Lord McEwan increased the compensation settlement to 160,000 pounds on the basis that Martin’s injury would affect his ability to find suitable work.

Scar Injury Compensation for Child after Trip and Fall at Construction Site

Posted: February 8th, 2012

A girl from Dublin is to receive 20,000 Euros in scar injury compensation after she tripped and fell into a hole dug by a local construction company.

Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall (12), was just seven years of age when, in December 2006, she fell into the hole while on her way to visit her aunt. Despite receiving medical treatment for her injuries, Kodie developed a scar which failed to heal and, through her mother, made a scar injury compensation claim against the construction company – SIAC Construction.

SIAC Construction denied responsibility for Kodie´s mishap, however made an offer of scar injury compensation without admission of liability. In the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the offer of 20,000 Euros would be sufficient for Kodie to receive appropriate treatment once she turned eighteen to have the scar removed.

In approving the compensation for scar injury, Mr Justice Matthew Deery ordered the funds to be paid into court – a normal procedure in child accident compensation claims – until such time as Kodie is old enough to have the revision surgery performed.

BT Worker Mesothelioma Compensation Claimant Dies after

Posted: January 28th, 2012

A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing a claim for BT worker mesothelioma compensation against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was found to have mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing was told from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had died as a result of malignant mesothelioma.

The court was also read a statement made by Derek prior to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new position included the preparation and remodelling of buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.

Although Derek´s major duty was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement from the job in 1996.

The inquest was also told that Derek had started a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing stated: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”

BT Engineer Mesothelioma: Man at Centre of Claim Dies

Posted: January 26th, 2012

A retired BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma compensation against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease which is caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had died due to malignant mesothelioma.

The court was also read a statement written by Derek prior to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new role included preparing and remodeling buildings which were being transferred from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.

Although Derek´s major responsibility was in the remodelling planning, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement went on to say – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement from BT in 1996.

The inquest was also told that Derek had initiated a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”

Mesothelioma Cancer Compensation for BT Engineer

Posted: December 5th, 2011

A judge at Bristol High Court has awarded an interim payment of mesothelioma cancer compensation for BT Engineer who had worked for the telecommunications giant for 27 years.

Frederick Vincent (76) from Dorset was awarded the five-figure sum as an interim payment to provide him with the private care he requires immediately, pending a full settlement of BT engineer mesothelioma compensation still to be determined.

The court heard how Frederick worked as an engineer for BT between 1962 and 1989 and regularly came into contact with asbestos while working in telephone exchanges in Devon where he had to drill through asbestos insulation boards to gain access to telephone wires.

Frederick also explained that he worked in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipe work and his exposure to asbestos had been a factor in his developing mesothelioma cancer – a diagnosis he received on his fiftieth wedding anniversary earlier this year.

The judge found against BT for negligently exposing their employee to asbestos dust and awarded the interim payment of mesothelioma cancer compensation for BT Engineer. The money will enable Frederick to pay for private nursing care and equipment to aid him through the final stages of his illness, and also to purchase a car in order that Frederick´s wife – Jean – can drive him to medical appointments.

Update February 2012: Sadly, Frederick passed away due to malignant mesothelioma cancer on January 31.

Judge Awards Compensation for Mesothelioma Cancer to BT Engineer

Posted: December 3rd, 2011

A judge at Bristol High Court has awarded an interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma cancer to a BT Engineer who had worked for the telecommunications giant for 27 years.

Frederick Vincent (76) from Torquay in Dorset was awarded the five-figure sum as an interim payment to provide him with the private care he needs immediately, pending a full settlement of BT engineer mesothelioma compensation still to be determined.

The court heard how Frederick was employed as an installation engineer for BT between 1962 and 1989 and regularly came into contact with asbestos while working in telephone exchanges in Devon where he had to drill through asbestos insulation boards to gain access to telephone wires.

Frederick also stated that he worked in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipe work and his exposure to asbestos had been attributed to his developing mesothelioma cancer – a diagnosis he received on his fiftieth wedding anniversary earlier this year.

The judge ruled against BT for negligently exposing their employee to asbestos dust and awarded the interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma to the BT engineer. The money will enable Frederick to receive private nursing care and equipment to help him through the final stages of his illness, and also to purchase a car in order that Frederick´s wife – Jean – can drive him to medical appointments.

Update February 2012: Unfortunately, Frederick passed away due to malignant mesothelioma cancer on 31st January.

Mesothelioma Injury Compensation Awarded to Leeds Joiner

Posted: July 7th, 2011

A joiner from Leeds, South Yorkshire, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer after working with asbestos in the 1990s, has won his battle to secure mesothelioma injury compensation against his former employers.

Stephen Adkin, aged 54 of Kippax, Leeds, was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in May 2010 after years of being exposed to fatal asbestos dust while working for Leeds company Nova Display Ltd. His duties while working for the company involved the removal of asbestos floor and ceiling tiles from local shoe shops and, he also claimed in his action against his employers, he was present in the company´s factory when repairs where being made to their corrugated asbestos roof

Stephen had been employed by the company from 1996 until his diagnosis last year, but his terminal condition has meant that he is no longer able to work, perform tasks around his home or play with his grandchildren. After seeking legal counsel, Stephen claimed mesothelioma injury compensation against Nova Display Ltd.

The case was due to be heard before Judge Shaun Spencer QC at London´s High Court last week, but at the last minute the judge heard that an out of court mesothelioma injury compensation settlement had been reached. Insurer´s for Stephen´s former employers have agreed to pay a total of 372,000 pounds – a sum which Judge Shaun Spencer QC described as “a satisfactory outcome”.cribed as “a satisfactory outcome”.

Loss of Hearing Compensation for Refuse Collector

Posted: June 23rd, 2011

A refuse collector from Rochdale, who sustained permanent hearing damage after working alongside noisy bin lorries and recycling machinery, has been awarded 8,250 pounds in loss of hearing compensation.

Graham Wild (50) from Middleton, Rochdale, helped keep the streets of Rochdale clean of rubbish for more than thirty years. During this time he was exposed to noise levels of 90dBs – higher than the health and safety limit of 85dBs that was recognised in the late 1980s.

It was only when he took a free hearing test that it was revealed that Graham had a mild noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. He now has to wear hearing aids in both ears and suffers from a lack of sleep due to the high-pitched ringing in his ear.

Alleging that he had never been advised of the dangers associated with loud machinery or provided with any personal protective equipment, Graham sued his employers – Rochdale Council – and, in an out-of-court settlement, was awarded 8,250 pounds.

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