Success Stories for Military Claims
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Six figure settlement for delay in diagnosing ulcerative colitis
Our client, a Private in the British Army, was awarded £575,000 in an out of court settlement by the MoD following a delay in diagnosing ulcerative colitis while he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2011. His bowel perforated as a result. He had previously applied for a payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for his injury but was refused as the MoD said his injury was not attributable to his military service. He appealed this decision but was ultimately unsuccessful. He therefore instructed Bolt Burdon Kemp to investigate a civil claim against the Ministry of Defence.
As a result of his bowel perforation and subsequent treatment, our client was medically downgraded and in June 2016 it was confirmed he would be medically discharged from the Army as a result of his condition. The compensation we have secured for our client includes an award to reflect his future loss of earnings and pension resulting from his curtailed Army career, as well as future medical treatment costs and compensation for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the injury.
Compensation secured for Army Corporal injured in RTA
We have successfully secured compensation for an Army Corporal whose military career was cut short after a road traffic accident.
Our client was taking part in a night training exercise, when the vehicle he was travelling in collided with the vehicle in front, which had stopped unexpectedly. Our client sustained multiple orthopaedic injuries and had to be airlifted to hospital. Despite his remarkable recovery, his injuries meant he could no longer meet the fitness levels required to stay in the Army.
Liability for the accident was admitted by the Ministry of Defence and the claim has recently settled. The £30,000 compensation we secured for our client will supplement the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme award he received for his physical injuries and his future loss of earnings and pension. The compensation will allow our client to have surgery to reduce the extensive scarring resulting from the accident, purchase orthotic insoles for the rest of his life, and includes an award to compensate him for the loss of opportunity to pursue his chosen career.
Former Reservist receives £55,000 damages for Noise Induced Hearing Loss
A former Army Reservist who suffered permanent noise induced hearing loss after a weapon was negligently discharged beside him has received £55,000 in compensation.
Our client was on deployment in Afghanistan and had returned to the safety of his base when the weapon was fired. An internal investigation by the Ministry of Defence found that the individual who had fired the weapon had done so negligently. The incident caused permanent damage to our client’s hearing and he now requires bilateral hearing aids. He also suffers from tinnitus. Despite the damage to his hearing, he has been able to pursue a career with the NHS Ambulance Service.
The Ministry of Defence initially defended the claim, but conceded liability after the claim was issued at court and expert evidence was served in support of our client’s case. We were able to negotiate a good settlement for our client, which saw the Ministry of Defence increase their original offer to settle to £55,000, which was accepted by our client.
MoD pays £210,000 for abuse by Army Cadet officer
We recently succeeded in a claim against the Ministry of Defence for sexual abuse by one of their employees. Our client was sexually abused by her Adult Instructor whilst she was a member of the Army Cadets. The abuse commenced when our client was 14 years old and progressed to rape, which resulted in our client falling pregnant and giving birth to the abuser’s child.
During the period of abuse, our client developed psychological problems, depressive symptoms and panic attacks as a result of which her social development was significantly damaged. Following the abuse, she suffered from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic dysthymia and a number of complex psychological problems which caused her distress and affected her life adversely. The abuse occurred at a vital time not only in our client’s personal but also in her educational development. She was distracted from her education by the abuse and also physically removed from school by her abuser on many occasions, which resulted in her performing poorly at school and not being able to continue with further education. Our client’s ambition from a young age was to join the Army and be an officer in the Royal Military Police. This was made completely impossible by the abuse as a result of which she could no longer have anything to do with the Army as this was one of the triggers from her post-traumatic panic symptoms and distress.
The Ministry of Defence admitted liability at an early stage and upon receipt of our medical and employment evidence, which was very supportive of our client’s claim, settled the claim for £210,000. Our client was very happy with this settlement as it would allow her to receive treatment and secure a better future for her and her child.
Delayed diagnosis of Compartment Syndrome: Lance Corporal in the Royal Military Police
The Claimant enlisted in the Army, following a long tradition in his family of military service. He intended to become a military policeman. He soon began to experience severe pains in his shins during exercise. Despite numerous attendances with the Medical Officers he was not diagnosed with chronic compartment syndrome until almost 3 years later. He was, instead, referred for physiotherapy, provided with orthotics, given balance exercises and even sent on a 3 week rehabilitative lower leg course.
A diagnosis of compartment syndrome was specifically considered and then dismissed on at least 2 occasions. We issued a claim against the Ministry of Defence in May 2012. They denied liability but an out of court settlement of £20,000 was achieved in April 2013. Vicki Reid
Lance Corporal in an Infantry Regiment
Our client broke his trigger finger in a fall. The local hospital correctly diagnosed a fracture and told him to return for follow-up. He was due for leave and his medical officer told him to go instead to the hospital at his holiday destination without explaining that timing was vital, and that a delay of even a few days could result in serious damage. On review, the client was referred for urgent surgery in an area which was out of bounds to him, as a member of the Services. He correctly did not attend the appointment. Had he been advised by his MO that there was urgency in the case he could have made special arrangements. As it was, he suffered permanent damage to his hand.
Lance Corporal in the Military Police
Our client’s impressive career was cut short when, on a training exercise in Norway, he missed his footing because of inadequate floor-covering in a gym. The MoD has admitted liability. This is one of the many examples we have encountered of cases where what would to some appear to be a minor accident has led to very serious consequences. As a result of damage to the ligaments in his ankle, and despite literally years of treatment and rehab, our client has been medically discharged and will be compensated for his lost career.
Lance Corporal in the Military Police
Our client was a well-regarded Lance-Corporal in an infantry regiment. He was a good marksman who had excellent prospects for promotion, having achieved the first level of promotion from Private within 10 months of joining his Unit. The usual time period for such progress is 3 to 4 years.
He was required to take part in an arduous 3-day battalion competition even though he was already carrying an injury. As a result he suffered severe and acute back pain. He should then have been allocated to desk duties to enable his recovery and return to full duties, but instead he was given the job of sorting out the Company’s furniture stores. This involved carrying mattresses, broken beds and similar items up and down several flights of stairs. These duties caused his back symptoms to become chronic, and instead of achieving his ambition of a military career, he was medically discharged from the Army.
With characteristic determination, he has begun to pursue an alternative career track in sports therapy. But he has suffered pain, disability and financial loss as a result of the Army’s negligence, and we issued court proceedings against the Ministry of Defence claiming compensation. His claim was settled on the payment of agreed damages and costs following our meeting with their legal team in November 2010.
Navy paramedic with fractured ankle
A fractured ankle caused by a badly-placed mooring rope put a stop to hopes of a full service career and lucrative post-Navy prospects in the off-shore gas and oil industries. After initially denying liability, the MoD eventually accepted that it was responsible, and judgement was entered for the Claimant. £160,000.
Private in an Infantry Regiment
Our client had recently turned 19 when he was deployed to Iraq in 2003. His experiences led him to develop PTSD. He was later deployed again to Iraq, but this time subject to strict limitations designed to protect his mental health. In theatre, the limitations were not observed. He was deployed on full duties, which resulted in an immediate exacerbation of his symptoms. He was medically discharged shortly after. The MoD has admitted liability for this failure, and damages are being quantified.
RAF military policeman
A wrist injury that could have been fixed was referred to a specialist too late to be cured. The promising career of a talented NCO was cut short, and he was medically discharged. Liability was admitted by the MoD and damages to be assessed by the court. £90,000.
RAF helicopter pilot
This pilot went to the field hospital in Basra suffering from toothache. The forces dentist identified an infected root, but chose to extract the wrong tooth. The infected tooth remained in place, causing months of pain, and a very unusual injury – partial loss of sense of smell and taste. £16,000.
After a lifetime’s service in the Brigade of Gurkhas, Rifleman X became ill and was posted to the Gurkha Museum, supposedly to do gentle work which would not injure him further. He was not adequately assessed or trained, however, and was given lifting work which brought forward painful back pain by two years. He instructed us to help, and we won him £10,500 in compensation.