Archive for January, 2013

Time has Not Run Out For BT Engineers Claiming Hearing Loss Compensation

Posted on: January 19th, 2013

Time has not yet run out for the many former and current British Telecom employees, who have sustained a loss of hearing due to using faulty testing sets, to claim BT engineers hearing loss compensation.

In August 2010 – in the compensation case of Watkins v British Telecommunications – BT recognised that engineers had been given equipment for testing, tracing and installing telephone lines which produced loud, high-pitched tones and damaged their (the workers) hearing.

The case lead to many claims for BT engineers hearing loss compensation being filed and, as a lot of the injuries had been suffered years previously, BT revealed it would not enforce the three-year Statute of Limitations which normally restricts an employer´s liability for work injuries.

However, in June 2012, BT went back on its early decision to allow former employees a limitless period in which to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss, and commented that – from January 1st 2013 – any BT engineer claim for hearing loss compensation would now be subject to the three-year Statute of Limitations.

This means that past and present workers who have been diagnosed with hearing loss injury within the previous three years due to BT´s negligence are still permitted to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss injuries and receive compensation for their early loss of hearing.

Workers not involved with the testing of lines, but who have sustained a loss of hearing due to working in close to loud noise while a line installation was underway, and who were not given adequate protection for their hearing, are also permitted to claim compensation – subject to their hearing loss injury being diagnosed within the last three years.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has stated any present or past BT worker suffering from tinnitus, premature deafness or damaged hearing due to their working surroundings to seek legal counsel at the earliest possible opportunity.

Negligence Claims Involving NHS Leading to Concern

Posted on: January 17th, 2013

The Chief Executive of the Medical Defence Union has highlighted fears that settlements of NHS medical negligence claims are reaching out of control levels and becoming unsustainable.

Talking on the BBC´s “Today” program, Christine Tomkins stated that the worth of compensation claims against the NHS being presently being settled is increasing faster than society´s ability to meet th cost of them. “Money is pouring out of the NHS to set up one-patient institutions” she stated “when it could be retained in the NHS.”

In her statement Ms Tomkins said that legislation first drafted in 1948 – the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act – does not account got care provision available from the NHS for those who sustain a catastrophic injury and settlements of medical negligence claims against the NHS are therefore estimated on how much it would cost to provide care for the injured victim on a private basis.

On the TV program, she used the example of the case of Charlie Scott, who was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic hemiplegic atheloid cerebral palsy after suffering brain damaged during birth, and whose mother recently was successful in her 14-year legal contest with the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust.

The medical negligence at birth compensation settlement of £7.1 million, Ms Tomkins alleged, would be much lower if those calculating the value of compensation in NHS negligence claims could take in to account the care available on the NHS. Ms Tomkins said that the NHS Litigation Authority has periodic payment liabilities of £18bn – enough to pay the yearly running costs of a dozen large hospitals used for teaching purposes.

Charlie Scott´s mother, Clare, was also asked to speak on the radio program. She recognised that some of the care and equipment from which Charlie will now find benefit could be provided by the NHS, but she advised presenter Justin Webb that Charlie will not have to wait for social services assessments any longer before being provided with the care he requires. Mrs Scott went on to say that the size and structure of the compensation settlement enables the security of 24-hour care for her son when she, or the NHS, would not be able to provide it.