It has been announced today that former Royal Marine, Alistair Inglis, 39, will be awarded £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.
This final judgment follows a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London from 4th to 7th March.
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.
We welcome today’s judgment, which acknowledges the avoidable suffering and damage caused by the lack of protection of the hearing of our armed forces.
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.
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 award announced today 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 judge’s decision announced today 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.