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Published On: March 4, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

£300,000 settlement for injured solider

I recently concluded a case for a former solider who received £300,000 to compensate him for injuries and financial losses arising out of negligence while he was in military service.

My client, born in Ghana, enlisted in the British Army as a supply specialist in the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC) in 2006. He sustained a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) and shin splints which altogether resulted in his premature discharge from service.

During his time in service my client was promoted to lance corporal in 2008 and was selected for promotion to corporal in 2013. He was, by all accounts, a promising solider and expected to serve for 12 years or more. On account of his injuries my client was medically discharged from the Army after just 10 years.

According to our expert evidence, upon reaching 12 years’ service there was a statistical likelihood of my client remaining in service for 24 years, as was his wish. He had been promoted to lance corporal earlier than the average. His promotion to corporal would have been before time too, had he not failed the physical examination on account of his shin splints. Statistically a solider of his calibre could expect to reach at least the rank of warrant officer 2 or possibly warrant officer 1 over a whole career. Consequent upon his injuries my client lost the career he loved and the income and opportunity that came with it.

My client’s claim for damages was twofold; firstly owing to his non-freezing cold injury his hands and feet were persistently cold, with tingling and numbness in cold weather. The pain kept him awake at night and he required medication. The expert evidence suggested his injury was at stage 4 which by definition means the condition is chronic with scope for improvement limited due the duration of symptoms. On account of his injury, caused because my client was left to train in freezing conditions without appropriate kit, he had to be protected from further cold weather exposure which meant avoiding cold environments and therefore rendering him medically non-deployable.

Secondly my client had suffered with longstanding shin splints first diagnosed in October 2008. According to our expert evidence, the condition was treated blindly with physiotherapy until it became chronic. Orthopaedic surgery had a role in resolving the complaint but was not offered, constituting a breach of duty. Imaging showed a chronic stress response to repeated loading which was entirely avoidable with simple rest and surgery, if there was no response to physiotherapy. It was unfortunate that the Army did not consider these options for my client who otherwise was likely to have made a complete recovery.

On account of both conditions, the medical board considered my client a candidate for discharge from service. Following discharge he lost his income, pension and benefits and was able to recover damages for those, less what he was receiving through civilian employment. Further, I was able to recover damages for my client’s care and assistance provided at home, travel to appointments, medication and for general assistance domestically involving work outdoors to include gardening, window cleaning and car washing. My client was also able to claim for the cost of extra heating at home and for warm weather clothing which is more of a necessity now than it was previously.

No amount of compensation would truly compensate my client’s strong desire to remain in military service but his damages will now make it easier for him to manage his condition and he will not have to suffer financially as a result of what happened to him.

*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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