Hearing Loss at Work
Alexander Bogle was a firefighter with Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. As a result of suffering damage to his hearing at work, he was retired from the job at the age of 51, four years before he would normally have retired.
His employers said he should not be entitled to claim loss of earnings because he could have got another job at the same rate of pay as an MOT tester. He denied this, but also argued that he wanted to do a job which gave him job satisfaction. He told the court he had spent 31 years in an amazing job, working with people and helping them. He wanted a new career where he could continue to work with people. He had been offered part-time work with Mencap.
The judge was impressed with Mr Bogle as a witness, and in particular with his desire to carry on working in a job which the judge described as a “social utility”. He therefore found he was entitled to claim loss of earnings and awarded him a total of £69,557.
This unusual and unique case succeeded because the judge was impressed by Mr Bogle's commitment to wanting to help people, so it does not open the floodgates to anyone claiming they want to do work which is socially beneficial."
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