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PI Practitioner, February 2019

16/02/19. Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area. You can also receive these for free by registering for our PI Brief Update newsletter. Just select "Free Newsletter" from the menu at the top of this page and fill in your email address.

This month, we consider adverse inferences being drawn against defendants who fail to adduce evidence and instead simply put the claimant to proof, with reference to the recent case of Mackenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Ltd [2019] EWHC 149 (QB).

In Mackenzie, the claimant had brought a claim for noise-induced hearing loss against his former employer, which he alleged resulted from his employment during the 1960s and 70s. At trial, it had been held that the defendant had come under a duty to measure noise levels in the workplace, and thus to take steps to mitigate excessive noise levels, in 1972, though on appeal it was found that the duty in fact arose around 1970. The key issue of fact for the judge at trial was whether, from the date the duty arose, the claimant had in fact been exposed to excessive levels of noise.

No evidence was available, at trial, of the...

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