Dalton v BT [2015] EWHC 616 (QB)

Claims were brought by present and former employees against BT for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) alleged to have been caused by exposure to excessive noise at work.

An issue arose as to the success fee payable by the defendant employer under sections IV and V of the CPR in the situation where a claim for damages for NIHL is settled before a trial is commenced. Under those sections of the CPR, success fees continue to be recoverable post-April 2013 where CFAs have been entered into before 1 April 2013 and the former provisions of Part 45 CPR still apply. Under the former CPR Part 45, different success fees apply in relation to a claim arising from a disease which settles before trial and a claim arising from an injury which settles before trial.

The issue of whether NIHL is to be regarded as a disease or an injury was referred for determination to the High Court. Philips J handed down judgment on 13 March 2015.

Taking into account the medical classification of NIHL, the legislative history of employers’ liability and the interpretation of CPR Part 45, he held that NIHL is a disease which falls within section V of the former Part 45 of the CPR. By consequence, claims for damages for NIHL therefore attract a 62.5% success fee if settled before trial. Such claims are not subject to section IV of Part 45.

April 15, 2015 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases