Hearing Loss Case

Date: April 6, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law


            Tom had worked in a noisy machine shop around heavy equipment for over twenty years. Tom had retired from his position in 2009.

            Carolyn, Tom\’s wife, noticed that Tom starting turning the volume on the television set way up and she recommended that Tom have his ears tested. Not to Carolyn\’s surprise, Tom was told that he had a significant loss of hearing in both ears of close to 40% and would need hearing aids. Tom\’s doctor advised him that it was the years of exposure to noise at work which cause his hearing loss.

ISSUE:          Does Tom have a viable Workers\’ Compensation claim even though he never advised his employer of his hearing loss for two years?

ANSWER:     Yes. Tom has three years from his last date of work to present a claim. Additionally, Tom is not obligated to give notice to his employer of his hearing loss being work related until he, Tom, was advised by his doctor of the relationship between the work and the hearing loss.

            Tom will be successful in his claim and all his medical bills will be paid. He will receive approximately two years of lost time benefits as well.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.