A promising army recruit who was discharged after developing a non-freezing cold injury because he was not supplied with the right equipment has received £160,000 in compensation. 

The 26-year-old from Cleveland developed the debilitating condition which caused numbness, tissue damage, long term pain and permanent intolerance to cold conditions after being forced to hike three times in freezing, wet and boggy conditions without specialist insulated boots in 2005. 

The initial hike resulted in tissue damage in both feet and a referral to the army’s Cold Injury Clinic but before his appointment in June 2005 came up he was ordered to attend another training exercise in the February where he again had to march in freezing weather conditions, without insulated boots, aggravating his condition.

Diagnosed with a non-freezing cold injury

Despite being formally diagnosed with a non-freezing cold injury to both feet by the Cold Injury Clinic in June 2005 and downgraded to stay indoors he was within three months again required to go out on exercise in freezing conditions on Salisbury Plain. He had to march for up to 24 hours a day causing his injuries to become so severe that he was discharged on medical grounds. He was told it would take two years for his injuries to recover and even then he would be more vulnerable to the cold.

The young man came from a line of Armed Forces personnel within his family. The Ministry of Defence said there was no reason why he wouldn’t have become a senior non-commissioned officer had he not developed the condition.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following discharge he was unable to pursue his planned post discharge career as a firefighter and was forced to accept a lower paying job as a delivery driver. His employment choices in the future are severely restricted because of his injuries. He decided to contact armed forces compensation claim experts Thompsons Solicitors.

Thompsons argued he should have been provided with adequate protection to avoid the onset of his condition. Thompsons also argued that he should not have been forced to undertake further training in the cold until he had been given medical clearance to do so.

Diane Davison from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This young army officer had a bright future ahead of him. Glowing reports on his dedication, ability and commitment to Army life make clear that he would have climbed the ranks. Instead his career was cut short due to a failure to provide him with suitable equipment that was available. His Army career is now history and he has had to accept a low paying civilian job because the long term result of his injury which dashed his dreams of becoming a firefighter upon his eventual planned discharge.”