BT has announced that it will be withdrawing its Statute of Limitations amnesty in respect of hearing injury compensation for BT engineers with effect from 1st January 2013.
Following the company´s admission in August 2010 that it exposed engineers who used the green oscillating and amplifying equipment to trace, repair and install BT telephone lines to an excessive level of noise likely to cause injury, claims for BT hearing compensation have been mostly settled out of court for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds depending on the extent of injury.
Currently, BT engineers and former employees of the company who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using BT´s green and unmodified yellow testing sets are able to settle their claims for BT hearing injury compensation irrespective of when their injury occurred.
However, at the end of this year, BT plans to enforce a strict three-year time limit from the date on which an engineer or former engineer is diagnosed with a hearing problem in which to make a BT engineer hearing injury claim for compensation, after which time the company will be contesting liability.
The same three-year time limit will be imposed on all claims for BT hearing injury compensation made by engineers who suffered an injury due to working in close proximity to kango hammers and jack hammers without hearing protection being provided.
Although the new limit will not affect anybody who has recently been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to the negligence of BT, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any employee or former employee considering a claim for hearing injury compensation for BT engineers to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Please note: Not all BT hearing loss claims are settled out of court. In January 2012, a former BT engineer´s claim for hearing compensation was heard in Cardiff County Court after BT disputed the engineer´s claim for special damages in relation to the cost of a private hearing aid. BT contended that an NHS hearing aid should work perfectly well, however the judge upheld the claim and the former engineer received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his claim for BT hearing injury compensation.