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Former employee sues Safaricom for loss of hearing

Safaricom may be compelled to compensate a former employee who allegedly lost his hearing capacity due to the nature of his work.

A High Court judge has allowed Mr Cyrus Machini to sue the leading mobile network operator after a medical assessment report from the Health ministry confirmed that he lost his ability to hear following prolonged use of headphones.

Mr Machini moved to court seeking leave to file the suit out of time as the cause of action arose in 2008 when he worked at the company’s customer care centre. He was given the nod to lodge the suit and seek remedy from his former employer.

He told the court that due to the nature of his work, he spent long hours wearing headphones which exposed him to high sound volumes, damaging his ears.

HEARING AID

“I find that Mr Machini’s application dated May 12, 2016 has merit and it is hereby granted as prayed,” said Lady Justice Lucy Njuguna.

After he developed medical complications in his ears, Mr Machini said he was treated and later fitted with hearing aids but he continued to lose his hearing capacity.

He stated that he was diagnosed with a bilateral sensor neural hearing loss and the doctors recommended that he be fitted with a hearing aid to amplify sounds.

He claims the doctors also recommended an electronic hearing and dryer to prevent the hearing aids from damage caused by moisture or water.

To persuade the judge to allow his suit, Mr Machini tabled in court a detailed medical report to confirm the status of his health.

ABILITY TO HEAR

Prior to his deteriorating health, he said in a sworn affidavit that the doctors had recommended that he be transferred to another department but his employer declined.

Mr Machini informed Justice Njuguna that his hearing capacity was degenerating with time and “it is difficult to determine when it started because it has been a continuous cause.”

In her ruling, Justice Njuguna said she was persuaded to allow the application, adding that it was apparent from the record that Mr Machini’s injury occurred in 2008.

The judge observed that a medical assessment report confirmed that the complainant had lost his ability to hear as a result of the prolonged use of headphones.