Defense Base Act Attorneys discuss Hearing Loss in a Defense Base Act Case

Our expierenced Defense Base Act Lawyers are here to help you with any questions you have regarding your DBA case. Here are some very interesting facts and case summaries regarding Hearing Loss in a DBA or Longshore case coming directly from the Judge’s Benchbook from the Office of Administrative Law Judges. Let our experienced Defense Base Act Attorneys answer your questions. The Judge’s Benchbook is a searchable website which is a public record. According to the Judge’s Benchbook:

Section 8(c)(13), as amended in 1984, and its accompanying regulations, provide definitive guidelines for analyzing hearing loss claims. Under this section, a claimant may receive compensation for up to 52 weeks for a loss of hearing in one ear or up to 200 weeks for a loss of hearing in both ears.
Under the LHWCA as amended, and the implementing regulations, an audiogram provides presumptive evidence of the extent of a claimant’s hearing loss if the following conditions are met:

  1. (1)  The audiogram was administered by a licensed or certified audiologist, or by a Board-Certified otolaryngologist or by a technician under the supervision of an audiologist or physician;
  2. (2)  The employee was provided with a copy of the audiogram and the accompanying report within thirty (30) days from the time that the audiogram was administered;
  3. (3)  No one has provided a contrary audiogram of equal probative value within thirty days of the subject audiogram where a claimant continues to be exposed to excessive noise levels or within 6 months if such exposure ceases;
  4. (4)  The audiometer used must be calibrated according to current American National Standard Specifications; and
  5. (5)  The extent of a claimant’s hearing loss must be measured according to the most currently revised edition of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

20 C.F.R. § 702.441(b)(1)-(3) & (d).
In Garner v. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., 23 BRBS 345 (1990), the Board held that where the claimant had a hearing loss in one ear only, and the LHWCA explicitly provides for benefits for a monaural hearing loss, the judge properly awarded benefits pursuant to Section 8(c)(13)(A). See also Bullock v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., 28 BRBS 102, 103 (1994); Tanner v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., 2 F.3d 143 (5th Cir. 1993).

If you are a contractor who has been injured on the job while working overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Syria or on any military base across the world, your case is covered by the Defense Base Act which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. At the Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., our qualified defense base act lawyers have a combination of over 43 years of experience in representing injured workers covered by the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Let us put our years of experience and our reputation to work for you today! Contact us today at, or go on our website at and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.
If you have a question about hearing loss or any other question in your DBA or Longshore case, contact our qualified defense base act attorneys today at, or go on our website at and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq.
Clifford R. Mermell, Esq., created the law firm of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. on March 1, 1996. Mr. Mermell has been the senior and managing partner of the firm since its creation. The firm was created to champion the rights of injured workers nationwide. It represents cases under the Worker's Compensation, Wrongful Termination, Personal Injury, Admiralty and Maritime, Defense Base Act, and Longshore & Harbor Worker's Compensation Act Laws.

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