A Military Claims Case Study – Client Situation
Our Military Claims Solicitors helped a former British armed forces serviceman get compensation after he was diagnosed with a Non Freezing Cold Injury in his hands and feet.
Our client had been on track for promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal at the time he went on a survival training exercise in Garelochhead, Scotland. This exercise lasted 2 weeks and entailed living in the field with only basic kit.
Personnel on the training exercise were subjected to poor weather conditions and were cold and wet throughout the exercise. During the exercise, our client started suffering symptoms of cold and numbness in his hands and feet, although they eased significantly following the exercise when he had a chance to warm up.
His symptoms improved to the point where they weren’t interfering with his daily activities, but would worsen again when further exposed to the cold.
Our client didn’t want to jeopardise his career and as his symptoms were manageable, he carried on without reporting them. But following an exercise in Canada where he was further exposed to cold temperatures, his symptoms increased and wouldn’t improve even when he warmed himself up.
At this point, he felt he had to report his symptoms, and he was referred to the Institute of Naval Medicine in Gosport. He chose to resign before going to his appointment, as he was sure he would be diagnosed with Non Freezing Cold Injury and that this would effectively mean the end of his military career. By resigning, he knew that he would have 12 months to prepare for civilian life.
Ultimately, he was diagnosed with Non Freezing Cold Injury, as his hands and feet were constantly cold and numb, and he would often experience tingling and a burning sensation.
How We Helped
Associate Personal Injury Lawyer Richard Donovan, who specialises in Military Claims, took on the case and agreed to help him claim compensation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Richard and his team took a statement from him and other witnesses, and then brought in an expert vascular surgeon, who carried out a full examination and prepared a report on his condition.
Richard also instructed a firm of employment consultants who have a number of ex-military personnel to prepare a report addressing our client’s Army career and his likely career had he not been injured. The report also covered how the injury would affect his career options as a civilian.
Richard issued legal proceedings against the Ministry of Defence, claiming compensation for our client’s injury, as well as loss of past and future loss of earnings and pension. The Ministry of Defence denied liability (fault) for the injury and also argued that our client had chosen to resign, rather than be discharged on medical grounds.
The Ministry of Defence continued to deny responsibility, which meant the case would have to go to Court. However, a settlement meeting was arranged close to Trial, and the MoD agreed to pay our client £400,000 damages in compensation.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.