MacKenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Ltd

Negligence – Duty to take care. The claimant, a former factory worker, successfully appealed against the dismissal of his claim for damages for noise induced deafness, allegedly suffered in the course of his employment. The claimant had alleged that his injuries had been caused by the negligence and/or breach of statutory duty of the defendants and/or their servants or agents, including by failing to carry out noise surveys at the relevant time, contrary to the Noise at Work Regulations 1989, SI 1989/1790. The Queen's Bench Division ruled, among other things, that the judge ought to have concluded that the second defendant had been under a duty to conduct noise surveys from 1970, particularly following the relevant guidance by the Ministry of Labour. It further held that had the judge judged the claimant's evidence benevolently, and the second defendant's evidence critically, he would have found the latter to have tortuously exposed the claimant to noise over the relevant period.

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