A Territorial Army (now Army Reserve) soldier has successfully secured a multi-million pound settlement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after an avoidable accident caused him life-changing injuries. 

An accident during an Army training exercise left the young soldier with life-changing injuries, some of which he may never recover from. These include chronic pain, internal injuries, permanent scarring and the inability to walk without the permanent assistance of a state of the art orthotic device.

The incident occurred in early 2012 during a live firing training exercise. The former soldier was made to sleep in a small, dark and wet container with a number of other service people. He was instructed to remove his armour yet was left with his loaded weapon.

“This settlement brings relief after what has been a difficult few years, leaving behind a career I loved. I am so thankful for the guidance and support from Thompsons Solicitors; their legal expertise has allowed me to move on and rebuild my life.”

Thompsons Solicitors’ military injury client

Late at night, and with only light from his head torch and fatigued from the day’s arduous exercise, the Soldier slipped on the wet floor while holding his rifle. As he fell, the gun discharged and a bullet passed through his abdomen and exited from his back. 

After seeking medical treatment following his injury, the Soldier turned to Thompsons Solicitors for legal advice in making a military accident claim.

The MoD admitted it was at fault but then sought to discredit the soldier, questioning the extent of the injuries sustained and suggesting through its nominated experts that the injuries may be ‘grossly exaggerated’ and not ‘wholly genuine.’

Military accident specialists at Thompsons Solicitors successfully argued that the MoD had no basis for their accusations and secured substantial damages for the ex-serviceman to rehabilitate following his injuries. 

"The idea that the MoD would try and discredit one of their former soldiers in this way is shocking and disturbing. This is an individual who gave his service to the Army and now cannot walk without assistance."

David Robinson
military injury solicitors at Thompsons Solicitors

The soldier will now use the settlement income to secure an adapted house. The compensation will also enable the former soldier to have state of the art knee ankle and foot orthosis (KAFO) for the rest of his life, allowing him to walk freely despite his injuries; such a device is not available through the NHS and without this compensation his future quality of life would have been significantly impaired.

The former soldier said: “This settlement brings relief after what has been a difficult few years, leaving behind a career I loved. I am so thankful for the guidance and support from Thompsons Solicitors; their legal expertise has allowed me to move on and rebuild my life.”

David Robinson, the solicitor working with the soldier and a member of the Royal British Legion Solicitors’ Group, said: “The idea that the MoD would try and discredit one of their former soldiers in this way is shocking and disturbing. This is an individual who gave his service to the Army and now cannot walk without assistance.

“These tactics are even more deplorable when you consider that the MoD is trying to widen the scope of combat immunity so that claims are brought within an internal compensation scheme – effectively meaning they have final say on cases such as this one, deciding on what it thinks behind closed doors. Our brave men and women of the armed forces deserve at least the same level of compensation and the same access to civil courts as any other worker.”