Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hearing impaired fireman awarded $50,000 in settlement

Hearing impaired fireman awarded $50,000 in settlement

Ft Lauderdale city commissioners voted on Wednesday night to settle a lawsuit filed by a recently retired firefighter from Broward County, Florida, who claimed that years of work for the city damaged his hearing.

Bruce Wade, who spent 27 years as a Ft Lauderdale fireman, claims that almost three decades of exposure to loud sirens significantly impaired his ability to hear, the Associated Press reports.

The man first mentioned that his hearing was damaged shortly before he retired last spring. In a worker's compensation claim, which referenced the impairment and another undisclosed condition, Wade sought $136,500, according to city records.

Wednesday's vote approved a payment of $50,000 to the firefighter, though the city had previously paid $43,000 on the claims.

According to DangerousDecibles.com, about one fourth of Americans suffering from hearing impairments can attribute the condition to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

NIHL can be caused by a single exposure to a loud sound or repeated exposure over a long period of time.

Sounds measuring 85 decibels or higher are considered dangerous. Fire truck sirens can measure up to 135 decibels.