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U.K. court dismisses deafness test cases


NOTTINGHAM, England - Seven test cases for industrial deafness have been dismissed by a judge at Nottingham county court.

The claimants had been employed in the textile industry; their case was that they had suffered noise induced hearing loss from working in an environment of in excess of 75 decibels. By way of a comparison, a busy street registers noise levels of between 78 and 85 decibels.

Darren Smith, partner, at solicitors for one of the defendants, Reed Smith Richards Butler, described it as a positive result for employers and for the insurance industry, as the costs could have run into billions of pounds had the test cases proved successful.

"The potential number of clients would have been huge. It was estimated that the two biggest textile companies could have generated up to 200,000 claimants alone," he said.