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Washington State Ferry Employee Hearing Loss Claims

For decades, our lawyers have represented Washington State Ferry employees in claims for hearing loss and other injuries on the ferries under the Jones Act and general maritime law. Hearing loss can have a substantial impact on your ability to enjoy life and understand the world around you. The condition can also require hearing aids that may increase your expenses substantially over time. Most hearing aids costs thousands of dollars and need to be replaced on a periodic basis. If you work in the engine room or engine department on board a Washington State Ferry and have suffered hearing loss, contact our law firm for a free case evaluation to determine your right to compensation for your hearing loss and the costs associated with your hearing loss.

Federal OSHA regulations govern safe noise levels for work on the Washington State Ferries. The Washington State Ferries monitors the hearing function of its engine room employees on an annual basis. When there is a significant change or shift in hearing function, the ferry system is supposed to notify the employee of the change. A Standard Threshold Shift (STS) is defined in the occupational noise exposure standard (29 C.F.R. 1910.95(g)(10)(i)) as a change in hearing threshold relative to a baseline audiogram for an employee of an average of 10 decibels (dB) in one or both ears. If you have been notified by the Washington State Ferry system that you have sustained a Standard Threshold Shift (STS), you should consult with a qualified hearing loss attorney experienced with Jones Act cases to determine if you qualify for compensation.

As a result of our pending litigation against the Washington State Ferry system, we have learned that substantial numbers of ferry workers have sustained a Standard Threshold Shift (STS) while working in the engine department over the last several years. According to data collected in litigation, the following numbers of employees were determined to have a Standard Threshold Shift (STS):

  • 2009: 39 employees
  • 2010: 40 employees
  • 2011: 25 employees
  • 2012: 55 employees
  • 2013: 51 employees
  • 2014: 44 employees
  • 2015: 46 employees

As attorneys representing injured Washington State Ferry employees, we believe that more action needs to be taken to prevent hearing loss for engine room employees. Given the levels of noise in the engine rooms, hearing protection alone is not sufficient to prevent hearing loss and employees are being exposed to levels of noise that could permanently impact their hearing function. By holding the Washington State Ferries accountable for the harm, we hope that the ferry system will have an economic incentive to take additional steps to limit unsafe noise in the engine rooms to prevent further harm to engine room employees. While loss in hearing function can be gradual, over time it can have a substantial impact on employees’ ability to function at work and with their families.

Free Hearing Loss Claim Evaluation for Washington State Ferry Employees

Our experienced hearing loss attorneys offer a free consultation to engine room crew working on the Washington State Ferries who have suffered a hearing loss. Please contact us today to discuss your right to compensation.