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Career firefighter can not sue for cumulative hearing loss



A 30-year-old firefighter does not qualify for permanent partial disability due to hearing loss he has suffered for years from loud noises because Louisiana State law requires that hearing loss for the disabled be attributed "solely to a single traumatic accident" The Supreme Court of Louisiana decided unanimously on Wednesday, with at least two judges urging the legislature to change the "gap" in state law.

James Hartman, who was employed by St. Bernard Parish Fire Department since 1990, was exposed to "harmful noise levels, resulting in permanent hearing loss", according to document James J. Hartman, jr. ., v. st. Bernard Parish Fire Department & Danger., filed in New Orleans.

Diagnosed with 42.2% binaural hearing loss in 201

7, a physician "suggested that repeated exposure to loud noises for extended periods (specifically from 1990-2017)" was probably a contributing factor to [Mr. Hartman’s] bilateral sensorineural hearing loss ", says

The fire department opposed his claim of permanent partial disability and "argued, among other things," that Hartman's claim for work-related hearing loss is not covered by state law, which only applies to permanent hearing loss caused by a single incident.

at the Office of Workers & # 39; Compensation and a Board of Appeal both dismissed on these grounds. The Supreme Court, which states that the law prevents the claim, confirmed.

was attributed the necessary exposure at work to excessive levels of noise during extended working hours . In my opinion, hearing loss at work is hearing loss, whether caused by a single traumatic event or for an extended period of time; and it should not be limited to a single traumatic event. Hopefully, the legislature will address and correct this injustice.

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