Success Stories for Military Claims
Making a claim against the military can feel daunting, but our clients regularly secure compensation and seek redress for what has happened to them. Our military claims success stories below cover a range of issues you may come across in military service, and the ways in which we helped our clients win their cases.
Non-freezing cold injury misdiagnosed as Raynaud’s Syndrome
Our client was injured after being exposed to very cold conditions while on a military training exercise in 2014. He was misdiagnosed as suffering from Raynaud’s syndrome by his doctors and it wasn’t until 2017 that his condition was correctly diagnosed as a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI). This misdiagnosis meant that our client was not properly protected from further cold exposure, which made his injury worse, and he eventually had to be medically discharged.
A compensation claim was brought against the Ministry of Defence who continued to deny that our client had suffered a non-freezing cold injury in the face of overwhelming medical evidence.
We argued that our client had lost significant earnings, pension and employment benefits as a result of his military career being cut short. We also argued that he should be compensated in the longer term because his condition meant that he had fewer opportunities for civilian employment as he was unable to work outdoors or in cold conditions. His claim settled for £400,000, which will now help provide him and his family with some financial security.
Million pound settlement for solider who suffered shrapnel injuries
Our client was injured as a result of a serious accident while he was working in bomb disposal.
He came to us having received a small payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which he felt had not properly compensated him for his injuries. Our client suffered life-changing orthopaedic injuries as well as significant damage to his hearing. Multiple expert reports had to be obtained and employment evidence was needed to work out his substantial claim for loss of earnings, pension and employment benefits.
The Ministry of Defence accepted that they were at fault for our client’s injury and a settlement was reached which took into account all of our client’s financial loss, including payments to cover treatment, aids and equipment.
Settlement for non-freezing cold injury in the Brecon Beacons
Our client sustained a non-freezing cold injury during a promotional exercise in the Brecon Beacons after being left outside, without shelter, during a snow storm. Despite being medically downgraded, he was ordered to attend a further exercise in cold and wet weather conditions. This made his symptoms worse and resulted in his medical discharge.
We brought a claim for negligence and argued that the Ministry of Defence exposed our client to a foreseeable risk of harm. The Ministry of Defence denied liability throughout the claim but we maintained a robust stance and obtained numerous witness statements and documents that supported our client’s case. The amount of evidence we gathered made it difficult for the Ministry of Defence to argue against the claim or try to limit the value of it.
We obtained evidence from an expert vascular surgeon and an employment expert, who expertise helped to calculate our client’s Army and civilian earnings. Our client’s injury caused him to lose a career he was passionate about and he struggled to adjust to life in the civilian sector. The claim settled for £450,000. The compensation has helped to put our client and his family back in the financial position they would have been before the injury.
Delayed diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
We were instructed to investigate a clinical negligence claim for a delayed diagnosis of PTSD.
Our client deployed to Afghanistan on Op Herrick 08 for 6 months in 2008. On his return he felt ‘like a different person’ and started to get into trouble for being insubordinate and drinking alcohol. He was seen by a CPN where red flag symptoms of PTSD were noted. He was discharged from DCMH without being referred to a psychiatrist. Our client presented to his medical officer again in 2015 after a bereavement. He was referred to DCMH and was finally diagnosed with PTSD later that year.
We obtained an expert medical report from a psychiatrist who confirmed that our client should have been referred to a consultant psychiatrist for assessment in May 2011 based on the PTSD checklist score. If he had been referred, on the balance of probability, he would have been diagnosed with PTSD and given treatment.
There were a number of issues about what impact the delay had on our client’s PTSD and whether it had been made it worse. We were able to negotiate a settlement early on in the claim which protected his future entitlement under the AFCS scheme. Our client was delighted that the settlement allowed him to move on and funded his future treatment.
Talented solider secures £550,000 for his Non-Freezing Cold Injury
Our client suffered a Non Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI) to his hands and feet as a result of negligent exposures to the cold during military exercises and courses numerous times between October 2013 and October 2015.
Additionally, our client’s military medical officer failed to downgrade and restrict his duties, which would have protected him from further exposure to the cold. Unfortunately our client was medically discharged because of his NFCI and his employment options were restricted due to his injury.
The threat to our client’s Army career brought about an exacerbation in his PTSD symptoms. The medical evidence we obtained said that although the PTSD stemmed from our client’s active service in Afghanistan, his symptoms only became apparent because of his NFCI.
Our client was a talented solider with familial connections to the military and it was accepted that if he had not been injured he would have commissioned. The claim settled for £550,000.
NFCI brings end to a promising career
Our client was inspired to join the Army by a family member. After passing basic training and following transfer to his Regiment, he was set for a long career. However, while on a promotion course he developed a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) that would change everything for him. He had worn the issued kit and followed orders but despite this was injured through no fault of his own. As a result of his injury, his military career was cut short and he was medically discharged from the Army.
When he contacted us for help, he was still struggling with symptoms. He had to wear lots of layers and could not be outside for any length of time without feeling pain in his hands and feet. He was trying to get his life back on track.
We arranged for him to be examined by a medical expert who confirmed the cause of his injury was exposure to cold weather whilst serving and that his injury was long-term. We argued that his injury could have been avoided and that the Ministry of Defence were responsible for causing it. Using a specialist employment expert we were also able to show how our client had lost a successful military career, income, benefits and pension. Sadly, due his condition and despite his own determination he was now severely restricted in the work he could do on Civvy Street.
The Ministry of Defence denied liability throughout this claim and questioned the seriousness of our client’s symptoms. He had to deal with pain every day and our specialist medical evidence showed that his pain was permanent. The claim was ready to proceed to trial but we fought hard and secured a settlement for our client of a significant six-figure sum. This compensation will allow him some financial security as he looks to rebuild his life.
Voyager passenger settles claim for injuries to mental health
The Voyager incident occurred in February 2014 when Voyager Flight ZZ333 transporting 189 passengers from Afghanistan to Brize Norton nosedived over the Black Sea. This was as a result of negligent pilot error and resulted in many of those on board suffering physical and psychiatric injuries, believing they had come under enemy fire.
One of our clients on that flight suffered significant psychiatric injuries as a result of the incident, including a specific phobia of flying and a generalised anxiety disorder, both of which had an impact on his work and home life.
Our client brought a compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence. At the time of the incident, our client had served eight years of a 24-year engagement in the Army. He had exemplary SJAR’s and a very promising future ahead of him. Unfortunately, despite undergoing psychiatric treatment, he was not able to fully recover and his service came to an end.
We secured an early admission from the Ministry of Defence that they had failing in their duty of care to our client. Despite this, there were complex arguments about our client’s losses and these claims were hard fought. The case settled for £435,000. Our client was delighted with the outcome and following conclusion of his claim, felt able to finally move on with his life.
Former Officer wins stress at work claim
Our client was a former Army Officer who was praised for his service on tour of Afghanistan. Unfortunately for him, he was exposed to a series of traumatic events which caused him Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
To make matters worse, his superiors assigned him excessive duties after tour and failed to see in him signs of stress and depression. He was not provided with an adequate period of decompression or any health and safety training in relation to stress at work and PTSD. His condition deteriorated and his requests for help were ignored. Eventually, he suffered a breakdown and was medically discharged, ending a lengthy and promising military career.
We brought a claim for him against the Ministry of Defence for breaching their duty of care, loading him with excessive tasks, failing to provide adequate supervision and/or training and, ultimately, for making his combat related PTSD much worse. The claim was hard fought and the Ministry of Defence denied all these allegations.
The claim was ready to proceed to trial but we managed to negotiate a settlement for our client of a very significant six figure sum. This compensation will allow him and his family some financial security for the future.
Lance Corporal wins claim after being ‘beasted’ and suffering an NFCI
Our client was a Lance Corporal in the Army. He and a number of his fellow soldiers were taking part in a poorly run promotional course in freezing conditions. Contrary to Army regulations, they were physically punished (‘beasted’), including being asked to do press ups in the snow. To make matters worse, there was no provision for him to dry his kit, which all became soaked over a number of days. He spent too long exposed to wet and freezing conditions and suffered a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) to his hands and feet, which resulted in him being medically discharged.
We instructed a number of experts to assess our client’s condition and losses. They provided evidence that he had suffered a long-term and disabling injury, and had lost a significant Army career, including income, benefits and pension. Despite their denials of the claim, we were able to arrange a meeting with the Ministry of Defence and successfully negotiated a settlement of £575,000 for our client. This will now enable him and his family to move on with their lives.
Reservist suffers racial harassment
We acted for a former Sergeant in the Army Reserves. He had a lengthy and successful career in the Army Reserves, having deployed on numerous tours of duty.
Our client was of mixed race background and this was an issue for some of his colleagues and superiors, who ridiculed him over a protracted period of time. They called him names, put up posters around the office and insulted him in front of colleagues. Our client asked them to stop and turned to his superiors, who did nothing. Unfortunately, our client suffered a breakdown and this resulted in his medical discharge. He was so seriously bullied that he developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a complex anxiety condition that left him unable to work at all.
Our client raised a service complaint, which was rejected. He appealed to an appeal panel and later to the Service Complainants Ombudsman for the Armed Forces. He succeeded in proving some of his allegations but was not compensated for his injuries.
We brought a claim under the Protection From Harassment Act for our client in the civil courts. Despite our client’s success in the service complaints process and despite the Ombudsman’s positive recommendations in his case, the Ministry of Defence continued to deny his civil claim for harassment entirely.
The case proceeded to trial and settled on the penultimate day at court, when the Ministry of Defence realised that they were going to lose. Our client secured a very significant sum in settlement of his claim, which will now enable him to move on with his life.
Private of Ghanaian origin settles NFCI claim for over £500,000
Our client suffered a life changing Non Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI) during a training exercise at Otterburn training camp in 2015. Originally from Ghana, he was a Private in an Infantry regiment of the British Army at the time. The injury caused nerve damage to both hands and feet, with cold environments triggering painful symptoms. It also meant that he was medically discharged after just three years of service. He has now received £510,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence which reflects the lifelong impact the NFCI will have on his earnings and pension, his need for additional care and assistance, as well as the cost of medication and additional heating to help him manage his symptoms.
PTSD settlement for former Army Sergeant
Our client, a former Sergeant in the British Army, received £375,000 for PTSD caused by the Voyager aircraft incident. This incident saw a military plane drop 4,400 feet in about 30 seconds during a flight from the UK to Afghanistan in 2014. Our client was diagnosed with PTSD due to the incident and was medically discharged as a result, bringing an early end to his promising career. The compensation award, agreed in an out of court settlement, included sums to reflect our client’s future loss of earnings and military pension due to his curtailed career, as well as a contingency for future psychological treatment. This was one of a number of six-figure settlements achieved for service personnel involved in this terrifying incident.
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.
£510,000 settlement for Private of Ghanaian origin
Our client suffered a life changing NFCI during a training exercise at Otterburn training camp in 2015. Originally from Ghana, he was a Private in an Infantry regiment of the British Army at the time. The injury caused nerve damage to both hands and feet, and painful long-standing symptoms. It led to him being medically discharged after just three years of service. He has now received £510,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence, reflecting the impact on his earnings and pension, and helping cover costs of care and assistance, medication and additional heating.
£575,000 for Lance Corporal after being ‘beasted’ and suffering an NFCI
Our client was a Lance Corporal in the Army, taking part in a poorly run promotional course in freezing conditions. Contrary to Army regulations, they were physically punished (‘beasted’), for example being made to do press ups in the snow with no provisions to dry their kit. Our client suffered an NFCI to his hands and feet, and he was then medically discharged. We demonstrated that he had suffered a long-term and disabling injury, and had lost a significant Army career, including income, benefits and pension. Despite their denials of the claim, we arranged a meeting with the Ministry of Defence and negotiated a settlement of £575,000, allowing our client and his family to move on with their lives.