French court orders pig squeals payout

BESANéON (AFP) - A French court on Wednesday ordered a piggery to compensate a former worker who became deaf partly as a result of the incessant squeals of the animals in his charge.

A court in the western town of Lons-le-Saunier in the Jura region ruled that the Pelizzari group had committed an "inexcusable error" by failing to protect Serge Personeni from a work hazard.

The amount to be paid to the 59-year-old Mr Personeni, who worked there from September 2001 until February 2008, will be decided later after he is inspected by a doctor.

Mr Personeni was in charge of feeding and looking after nearly 4,000 pigs.

Deafness was recognised as a work hazard in France in 2012. It was then decided that those working in places with decibel levels higher than 85 should receive protective equipment.

During a hearing in June, the court said Mr Personeni was made to "work in conditions incompatible with human dignity".