Military Deafness

Former Royal Marine sues MoD for hearing loss, in case that could cost millions

Former Royal Marine reaches agreement with MoD after suing for hearing loss

Serving in Her Majesty’s armed forces can often mean working in a noisy, hazardous environment.  As an employer, the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care to its personnel. If they breach this duty, and harm is caused by way of illness or injury, they can be liable for compensation. One of the hidden dangers is the risk of noise induced hearing loss, also known as military deafness.

An estimated 300,000 ex-armed forces personnel suffer with noise-induced hearing loss.

If you have been exposed to excessive noise during the course of your employment in the Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy or RAF you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

What is military deafness?

Serving in the armed forces involves exposure to obvious sources of potentially hazardous noise such as:

  • Gun and artillery fire

  • Mortars

  • Explosions

  • Pyrotechnics

  • Aircraft noise

  • Vehicle engine noise

  • Brass bands

Noise induced hearing loss  is caused by exposure to loud sounds over a prolonged period of time or from a single episode of exposure to high frequency loud sound, which can cause long term damage to an individual’s hearing. It is alleged that there is a growing number of armed forces personnel suffering from noise induced hearing loss, occupational hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a result of their exposure to excessive noise over 85dB and 95dB.

Whether you are still serving, or you have since left the armed forces, if you have sustained hearing damage as a result of exposure to excessive noise or sudden impact trauma, you may be able to claim for hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

A former Royal Marine has been awarded more than £500,000 damages for hearing loss suffered during his service.

Alistair Inglis, 39, from Plymouth, said his hearing had been affected by weapon and vehicle noise
The judge ruled that the MOD must pay Mr Inglis £545,766.60, including more than £200,000 to cover future loss of earnings and just over £280,000 for future loss of pension.

Judge Marquand said an application by the MOD for permission to appeal against his ruling had been refused.
Mr Inglis’ lawyers said after the ruling that they have more than 2,200 other cases and are being contacted by service personnel with debilitating hearing problems on a daily basis.