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The sounds of time

15 June 2012

The claimant in the case of Jones v Saunders Valve Ltd was exposed to noise over 15 years, between 1973-88 and although liability was not admitted the defendant had no evidence of the noise levels as a result of the passage of time.  Despite this the 59 year old claimant received £2,000.

What the case does is highlight the difficulties of defending noise claims where, 24 years after last exposure, there is no longer any evidence of the steps the defendant took (if they took any at all) to address noise as a hazard. It reiterates the current position where, despite the onus being on a claimant to prove his case, the courts will not allow a defendant to profit where an absence of evidence results from a failure to address their duties.

In such cases the court will look benevolently upon the testimony of the claimant which, as is often the case and is the case here, is likely to be the only evidence available to the court.

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