A former potter has won a landmark compensation claim for hearing loss against a collapsed ceramics firm.
The successful case could lead to hundreds of former employees making similar claims.
Adrian Ward, 42, will receive a payout of £3,000 following a five-year long battle with the insurers of John Tams Group PLC.
Injury lawyers acting on his behalf successfully claimed that Mr Ward suffered permanent hearing damage due to exposure to ‘excessive and dangerous levels of noise’.
Now other former workers could be entitled to launch compensation claims for hearing damage.
Mr Ward said: “I worked for 20 years for John Tams and it was very noisy.
“In the old-fashioned factories a siren would go off on the kiln and the sound was deafening. You could hardly hear yourself think and we were never offered earplugs.”
The father-of-one, who now works at JCB, added: “If people are talking but not facing me, I find it very difficult to hear and it can be dangerous at work.”
John Tams Group owned several factories around Stoke-on-Trent, such as the Royal Grafton Works, Atlas and Sutherland.
The business, one of the biggest manufacturers of ceramic cups, went bust in 2006.
Injury solicitor Steven Evans, who represented Mr Ward, said: “Mr Ward was a normal hard-working man whose hearing has been damaged.
“The defendant’s insurers are now aware that many other former employees will make similar claims.”
As a result of a court ruling in 2009, workers are able to claim for compensation if they can provide evidence that they were exposed to noise louder than 80 decibels, compared to 90 decibels for past cases.