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6 December 2019 | Comment | Article by Simon Ellis

Spotlight on our winning entry for “Outstanding Case of the Year: Alistar Inglis vs MoD”


Back in May we secured, former Royal Marine, Alistair Inglis, 39, compensation of £545,766.60 from the Ministry of Defence after it was proven that his hearing loss was caused by sustained and unprotected exposure to extraordinary noise levels during combat and in training.

The MoD had already admitted liability for Mr Inglis’ injuries ahead of the hearing on an 80/20% basis in favour of Mr Inglis, acknowledging that it had failed in its duty of care during his years in service.

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.

The judge has rightly considered the detrimental effect of Mr Inglis’ hearing loss on his civilian career options, taking into account approximately 20 years of reduced earnings over the remainder of his working life, as well as a significant loss of pension. Mr Inglis will also have to pay for essential, costly hearing aids for the rest of his life.

The PI awards 2019 took place on the 27th November in Manchester, below is a summary of the case that Hugh James submitted.

Highlights of the case:

Judge’s comments:

An ongoing issue…

Hearing loss is a huge issue for many members of our armed forces, with estimates suggesting over 300,000 ex-service personnel currently living with hearing loss in the UK. It impacts many parts of a sufferer’s life and the consequences of living with it cannot easily be understated.

While everyone accepts that extraordinary noise levels are part and parcel of military life, by admitting liability ahead of the hearing on an 80%/20% basis in favour of Mr Inglis, the MoD has acknowledged that it could and should have done more to protect its personnel from hearing loss.

The compensation goes some way to allowing Mr Inglis to move on with his life after his employer failed to protect him, in a job where he was putting his life on the line to protect his country.

We’re receiving a significant number of enquiries every week from military men and women whose lives have been adversely affected by hearing loss suffered during service to their country.

In some cases, we’re speaking with individuals in their 40s, 30s and even 20s who, like Mr Inglis, will now need high quality private hearing aids costing many thousands of pounds for the rest of their lives, as well as seeing a detrimental effect on their ability to find future employment.

We hope that the decision announced back in May provides reassurance to current and former military personnel that they are entitled to pursue justice by bringing their case to court. While all claims are different and your outcome may differ from Mr Inglis’, we urge anyone facing similar hearing loss to get in touch by visiting our military deafness page.

Hugh James has recently run its 2nd Military conference on ‘Life After Injury’ and with the ‘Alistar Inglis vs MoD’ case getting further recognition in the recent PI awards, we hope that the message gets across to any veteran that support is out there.

Simon Ellis, Head of the Military Team, commenting on the PI awards said:

“I am thrilled we have won the Outstanding Case of the Year award for the Inglis vs MoD case. Hearing loss is a huge problem for many within the military and doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. This case was hugely important for Mr Inglis as it addressed the long term financial implications he faced through his hearing difficulties. It has wider implications for the veteran community at large. I hope this award helps to highlight the problems our veterans can face through injuries suffered in service to our country.”

Author bio

Simon Ellis is a Partner with Hugh James and has worked with the firm for more than 25 years, having trained and qualified here. Simon heads up the Military Department, advising and assisting current and former military personnel with various health conditions and injuries. He specialises in claims such as hearing loss, non-freezing cold injuries, compartment syndrome and military injury cases. He is often asked to advise on more unusual claims in the military context.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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