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High Court ruling on Noise Induce Hearing Loss claims - our statement

The High Court has rejected an application by law firm Hugh James for a group litigation order (GLO) in the face of objections from 18 other law firms.

The firm is acting in over 3,500 noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims brought by former members of the armed services but Mr Justice Garnham said granting an order would have the effect of “severely limiting the access to justice” of a further 5,000 claimants, represented by the other firms.

Following a hearing last month, Mr Justice Garnham ruled in Abbott & Ors v Ministry of Defence that Hugh James had failed to make out a case to meet the threshold for a group litigation order. The judge rejected a submission from the MoD that without a group order it would effectively play a game of ‘whack-a-mole’ spending vast amounts of time and money responding to numerous similar individual actions.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors welcomes the judgment handed down in Abbot v MoD following our firm’s previous opposition in September 2022 to a GLO and in the alternative to the designation of Hugh James Solicitors as lead solicitors in the Military NIHL cases.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors have a long history of acting in NIHL claims against the MoD. We were instructed in an early tranche of around 30 claims of which 17 formed a large part of those considered by the Court in the case of Durrheim & Ors v MOD (4.11.13). In that case the MoD applied to transfer numerous NIHL claims from the County Court to the High Court to be case managed together (an application by the Defendant for a GLO in those cases had been dropped having been successfully resisted, at first instance and on appeal).

As experienced military solicitors, with over 37 years of actively and successfully running military disease, including NIHL and military accident cases, the judgment in this case holds very little that surprises us. We note the comments made by the Court and the potential delays and prejudice to those seeking to bring military deafness cases should they be lumped together.

Our stance has always been that military NIHL cases turn on their own distinct facts with no two being identical. These are not cases arising from a particular industrial process such as printing presses or steel furnaces but from a myriad of different circumstances and conditions ranging from the battlefield to the parade ground. The Abbott judgement amongst other comment confirms our position.

There really is no substitute for experience when dealing with military cases and with over with over 37 years of experience fighting for the rights of serving personnel, their families and veterans Hilary Meredith Solicitors has the experience that counts.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors regularly achieves six figure settlements in Military NIHL cases and regularly achieves seven or eight figure settlements for other seriously injured Military claimants. We expedite our injured Military Claimant’s cases and arrange rehabilitation from the outset/earliest opportunity for those who require it.

For military personal injury cases already underway with other solicitors we offer a free no obligation review / 2nd opinion.

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