A Chester man who has been left with permanent pain in his hands after Army training in cold weather conditions has secured £300,000 compensation.

The man, who enlisted in the Armed Forces in 2008, developed non-freezing cold injuries (NFCI) in January 2013 during a winter training course at Northumberland’s Otterburn Training Area. He spent most of the day in cold and snowy conditions, and a fortnight into the training he experienced hand and foot pain.

A medic suspected NFCI and his duties were initially downgraded, but he had to continue guard duty and supervising soldiers outside.

The 40-year-old serviceman continued to suffer from NFCI and was eventually medically discharged from the Army in 2015.

“It seemed like my health was of little concern to those in charge,” he said. “At one point, I overheard a supervisor mention how they had never seen so much snow at the training camp. Despite this, they never provided us with additional protective equipment to cope with the cold weather.”

He turned to Thompsons Solicitors for help, after another law firm said they weren’t prepared to take on his case as his chances of securing compensation were too low. Thompsons sought evidence from a vascular surgeon and psychiatrist, who helped evaluate the physical and mental impact of the injury. An employment expert suggested the injury had curtailed the man’s Army career by five years and left him at a disadvantage in the job market.

"If our client’s initial complaints had been dealt with seriously, his condition could have been managed better and he would not still be suffering."

Trevor Hall
of Thompsons Solicitors

“My diagnosis has had a huge effect on my life,” the former serviceman said. “The pain has never gone away, and is almost unbearable during cold weather. I was also worried about how I was going to be able to pay for bills and other outgoings while I was unable to work. Thankfully, Thompsons not only backed me by saying there was a case to pursue, but they were also there for me in a way my employer wasn’t, meaning I’ve secured a compensation package that has helped me find financial stability again.”

Trevor Hall, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “If our client’s initial complaints had been dealt with seriously, his condition could have been managed better and he would not still be suffering.  

“We pride ourselves on using our specialist expertise to support working people, wherever they are employed and however they have been unfairly treated at work. Our years of expertise mean that complex claims don’t daunt us, and we know how to get the maximum compensation for the serious physical and psychological consequences of a workplace injury.”