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Andy Shaw  

Partner, Head of Personal Injury

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BT employees with hearing defects should seek legal advice

 

Article date:  06/05/2011

Black Country-based law firm Higgs & Sons has advised that help may be available to employees of British Telecom (BT) if they have hearing problems.

This comes after BT admitted in a recent county court case that certain tone sets previously used by their engineers can seriously damage hearing. 

Andy Shaw, a partner in Higgs' personal injury team, explained: "BT engineers have been using these particular tone sets since the 1960's. It's believed that these sets emitted excessive levels of noise which has caused engineers to either go deaf or to have a ringing in the ears - which is commonly known as tinnitus."

As a result, the telecom giant accepted that it had acted negligently and agreed to pay compensation to thousands of current and former BT employees.

This development is likely to lead to new compensation claims from BT personnel, who need to ensure they receive sound legal advice in any litigation they wish to pursue.

Andy added: "Employees who might have been exposed and damaged their hearing due to these tone sets, have a time period of three years to make a claim for compensation - which starts when the hearing defect is first noticed.   The handsets in question are the BT green or unmodified yellow tone sets.

"Most affected people typically complain of having to turn the TV up or struggle to follow conversation in noisy environments."

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