The claimant said that he had been exposed him to excessive noise during the course of his employment, causing his deafness. He noticed his hearing problems in 2001. He was also aware that exposure to noise could cause hearing loss, but did not associate his own hearing problems with exposure to noise in earlier years. In 2006 a doctor attributed his hearing difficulties to ageing. In 2009 J saw a consultant who advised that he had noise induced hearing loss. He then issued proceedings. The trial judge dismissed J’s claim on limitation grounds.
Held: His appeal failed. A reasonable person in his position would have been curious about the cause of his deafness. He would have consulted his general practitioner. The doctor would probably have asked him about his employment history. This would have led to possible attribution of the claimant’s deafness to exposure to excessive noise at work. Allowing a year or so for consideration, J was fixed with constructive knowledge about the possible cause of his deafness by the end of 2002.
Hallett, Etherton LJJ, Dame Janet Smith
 EWCA Civ 1505,  PIQR P7
Limitation Act 1980 11 14
England and Wales
Cited – Collins v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and Others CA 23-May-2014
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for personal injury which had been rejected on basis that it was out of time. He had contracted cancer in 2002, but had recovered. He later came to attribute this to exposure to asbestos at work . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 April 2021; Ref: scu.465943