NIHL Disease or Injury

03 December 2019

NIHL Disease or Injury?


Before 2012, there was very little debate over the definition of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). It has always been comfortably defined as a "disease" and not an injury. In April 2013, following a number of decisions at the district judge level, which reached inconsistent conclusions, the regional costs judge directed that the definition of a disease be determined by a High Court judge as a preliminary issue in four nominated cases.


These cases were four cases against BT where the claimant’s successfully recovered compensation for NIHL but the parties could not agree whether NIHL was a disease or not for the purpose of quantifying a success fee.


The defendants, applying the natural and ordinary meaning of the word in accordance with Patterson, argued that NIHL is not a disease but rather an injury.


Should you have any questions or enquiries about noise-induced hearing loss, please do not hesitate to contact our offices on, 01254 297130 where one of the members of our team will gladly assist.