A Unite member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by his employer for over 20 years has been compensated following help from Thompsons Solicitors.

Ashiq Hussain Shah, 58, from Keighley in Yorkshire has received £13,500 in damages after suffering from occupational deafness.

Mr Shah’s hearing became damaged while working for motor parts manufacturer Federal Mogul, based in Bradford, since 1989.

The engineer worked in a noisy factory environment making piston pins. His family first pointed out his deafness after he suffered a heart attack earlier in 2008 and because he was spending more time at home his hearing difficulties became more noticeable. He was formally diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears and was advised to wear hearing aids later that same year.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for deafness compensation

After his diagnosis he contacted a claims management firm to enquire about claiming compensation. It took the firm two years to decide to turn his case down. 

After chatting to a friend he contacted his union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors. 

Federal Mogul admitted liability and Thompsons secured a settlement within six months of instruction.

Mr Shah, who has since been made redundant from Federal Mogul, said: “I didn’t realise I was deaf until my family started complaining that I had the television up too loud. I’ve since had to learn to adapt to my hearing loss. 

“I was really mucked around by the claims company and am grateful that the union backed me and passed me onto personal injury experts.”

Hearing loss affects many people working in noisy environments

Davey Hall, regional secretary of Unite said: “This case highlights the expertise our free legal services can offer. Unlike the claims management company Thompsons was both successful and quick. Hearing loss affects many of our members working in noisy environments and we would urge any members who have been diagnosed with work related hearing problems to get in touch with us first.”

Munir Majid from Thompsons Solicitors added: “The fact that a claims company took two years to say there was no case and we got a settlement so quickly shows what a risk people run with these outfits. If Mr Shah had not been encouraged to get a second opinion by his union colleague the claims company’s poor advice would have meant he got nothing for the adverse affect of his deafness both at work and in his social life.”