£550,000 for Ex-Marine With Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

A man who suffered damage to his hearing while serving in the Royal Marines has secured compensation totalling almost £550,000 from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Alistair Inglis joined the Royal Marines in 1997, at the age of 17. In the course of his service he was exposed to noise from thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as grenades and aircraft. Tests carried out between 2006 and 2010 showed he was suffering from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and his hearing was expected to deteriorate further. He applied for voluntary discharge in 2011 and left the Marines the following year.

He brought a claim against the MoD. The MoD accepted 80 per cent liability but disputed the amount of compensation he should receive, questioning the extent of the damage to his hearing and arguing that he had left the Marines to take up a higher-paid job in maritime security.

Ruling on Mr Inglis's claim, the High Court found that he had left the Marines because he was suffering from NIHL and was worried about further damage to his hearing. His condition had a negative impact on his working life, making it difficult to hear what people said during meetings and when talking on the phone. Using hearing aids alleviated these difficulties only slightly.

The Court conducted a detailed analysis of the effect of Mr Inglis's hearing loss on his likely earnings. A deduction was made to take account of his higher earnings after leaving the Marines, but the award includes substantial amounts for loss of future earnings and pension entitlements. He was awarded a total of £545,766.

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