Jane worked in the Gallaher factory in Ballymena between 1977 and 2016. This factory made cigarettes and other tobacco products until it closed in 2016. Jane was employed as a machine operator. She was exposed to production machinery on the shop floor. She had commenced her employment as a hand weigher, weighing tobacco. She recalled significant noise emanating from a wrapping machine. She was also tasked with automatically feeding tobacco into the machine which was extremely noisy. At the end of her employment she was tasked with quality control but she was still employed on the factory floor and was exposed to excessive noise. She could not communicate with work colleague without raising her voice.
Jane had unfortunately noticed that since her employment had ceased with Gallahers, her hearing loss and tinnitus had deteriorated. She went to her GP and was referred to the ENT Department of the Hospital where she was given a hearing aid. Jane had learned that Millar McCall Wylie had undertaken more Gallahers industrial deafness claims than any other solicitor in Northern Ireland.
She contacted Millar McCall Wylie and swift actions was taken to get the necessary information to progress with her claim. Her employment history was obtained from HMRC. This was together with her occupational health notes and her ENT notes from the Hospital.
Once this information was received, an appointment was made for Jane with a Consultant ENT surgeon. She underwent and audiogram and thereafter a report was received which confirmed that her hearing loss and tinnitus was noise induced.
A letter of claim was sent to Gallahers on her behalf and legal proceedings were issued. Liability was denied by the solicitors acting for Gallahers on the basis that they had taken all reasonable steps to protect Jane’s hearing from the effects of excessive noise.
A Defence ENT appointment was arranged for Jane. Once this report was received negotiations got underway with the other side in the case. A figure of £10,500.00 was negotiated in the case as compensation for Jane which she was thrilled about. If you worked in Gallahers or in for any other noisy employer contact Millar McCall Wylie on 028 90200050 for specialist hearing loss claims advice.