German court find promoter liable for damaged hearing

February 2005

Live Events Industry

Leading German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) has been ordered to pay four thousand Euros (E4,000, approx 00) to a woman who claimed her hearing was damaged at a Bon Jovi concert four years ago. The company must also pay medical expenses and loss of income. The Court said that MLK had failed to take sufficient precautions to limit the volume of the outdoor concert in 2000. The injured woman said she was standing 2.5 metres from a speaker and now suffered from tinnitus. This case contrasts to an earlier US ruling which held that a promoter could not be liable for the alleged damaged hearing of a plaintiff lawyer who should have realised that loud music was played at rock concerts.

In a separate report, the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) and Trades Union Council, have said that over 500,000 bar and club workers in the UK are at risk from loud music played at their places of work. The report, ‘Noise Overload’, states that the noise in some nightclubs is comparable to being next to an aircraft taking off and that not enough is being done to protect bar, club and pub workers to music played above the legal levels. The report highlights the lack of noise-free rest areas and protective ear-wear for staff. New European laws protecting staff will be implemented in 2008.

Source: Audience Magazine issue 59 (January 2005)
and see Law Updates June 2003: US judges throws out claim for damaged hearing

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