By: 10 November 2015
Senior civil servant says NIHL claims could be subject to MedCo regime

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims could be subject to the same medical reporting requirements as soft tissue injuries under the MedCo portal, according to a senior civil servant from the Ministry of Justice.

Litigation Futures has reported that Richard Mason, the deputy director for civil justice at the MoJ, made the suggestion at a recent Bond Solon expert witness conference. Mason said that it was “not beyond the bounds of possibility” that there were other areas suitable for the MedCo approach, such as NIHL claims.

He revealed that there were no plans in place at the present time to extend MedCo’s remit, but with pressure mounting to deal with NIHL claims, a move in such a direction could not be ruled out.

Earlier this year, James Dalton, the ABI’s director of general insurance policy said that an apparent recent spike in NIHL claims could “only be a result of claimant lawyers spotting the potential to earn sizeable fees from these cases after their sky-high earnings from whiplash claims were reduced”.

Dalton said that NIHL claims needed to be dealt with through the Claims Portal and MedCo. He called for the latter to be extended to cover audiologists so insurers could be reassured about “the financial independence” of people carrying out the required hearing tests.