Occupational Hearing Loss

Date: January 31, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law

            Bob\’s wife, Betty Lou,  noticed that when she and Bob watched television, Bob would keep asking her to turn up the volume. Betty Lou also noticed that when Bob was watching the TV alone, he had the volume turned up so loud that it was actually uncomfortable for Betty’s Lou’s ears. Bob worked for years in and around heavy equipment and power tools at the local widget factory.

            Bob\’s wife finally convinced Bob to go for a hearing test. Not surprisingly, the results came back showing that Bob had a severe binaural (both ears) hearing loss which Bob\’s doctor attributed to the years of exposure to loud noises on the job.

ISSUE:          Does Bob have a claim under Workers\’ Compensation?

ANSWER:     Yes. Pennsylvania Workers\’ Compensation Act has specific provisions that do allow a recovery for occupational hearing loss. As long as that hearing loss is more than ten percent binaural, Bob would be able to recover both medical costs and a lump sum, depending upon what percentage his actual loss is.

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.