If you believe that conditions in your workplace have affected your health, any delay in seeking legal advice can stymie your chances of receiving compensation. That is exactly what happened in the case of a joiner who blamed hearing loss on the constant noise in a factory where he worked over 25 years ago.
The man worked in the factory of a concrete manufacturing company between 1986 and 1993. However, it was not until 2018 that he launched proceedings against the company on the basis that it bore responsibility for his noise-induced deafness. The company had been voluntarily wound up and dissolved in 1995, but was restored to the Register of Companies for the purpose of being sued.
His claim was dismissed by a judge on the basis that it been lodged far outside the three-year time limit that applies to personal injury cases under the Limitation Act 1980. In refusing to extend that deadline, the judge found that he should have been aware by mid-2007 at the latest that he had suffered a significant injury which might be attributable to the company's breach of duty.
Challenging that decision, the man argued that the limitation period ceased to run when the company entered voluntary liquidation in 1995 and that his claim was thus lodged in time. In dismissing the appeal, however, the High Court noted that such an outcome would result in unfair prejudice to the company's insurers and deliver an unexpected and undeserved windfall to the man, who could have lodged his claim much earlier than he did.