A substantial amount of compensation has been secured for a Leicester man who developed life-long injuries from excessive exposure to cold and wet conditions during his military work. 

Michael Nyarko-Yeboah, 37, enlisted in the army in 2010 and, after completing training, was deployed on a five-day exercise that included patrolling, digging trenches and standing on guard duty in cold weather, during which he began to suffer numbness and a burning sensation in his hands. 

A later exercise involved similar work in cold and icy environments, caused the symptoms to develop again and worsen. Michael sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with non-freezing cold injuries in 2012. Doctors recommended he wore cold-weather boots and clothes, and only work in warm environments on guardroom duties. 

Despite the medical recommendations, Michael was still required to parade and train outdoors, during cold and wet conditions, and was deployed on further exercises that exacerbated his condition.

"The compensation Thompsons helped secure for me has gone a long way to allaying these fears"

Michael
a Thompsons Solicitors industrial disease client

Michael was medically discharged in 2014 and has taken alternative employment as an airport quality control specialist. He has been unable to progress to a higher-paid management role with his employer as it would involve shifts on the airstrip, which would aggravate his non-freezing cold injuries. 

“One person would tell me one thing and another something completely different,” he said. “It was confusing and I never knew whether I should or shouldn’t be doing the same work as everyone else.” 

He turned to industrial disease specialists Thompsons Solicitors to support him with a compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“If senior staff members in the army had heeded the recommendations of their medical peers, Michael would never have been in this situation.”

Trevor Hall, of Thompsons Solicitors

Michael praised the legal experts at Thompsons Solicitors for their support, saying: “Thompsons Solicitors helped clarify the situation, explaining that I was wrongfully exposed to cold and wet weather throughout the two years between my diagnosis and when I was medically discharged. I still suffer sensitivity in my hands, especially during winter periods, and I still worry about how my career may be affected by the effects of my condition. The compensation Thompsons helped secure for me has gone a long way to allaying these fears.” 

Trevor Hall, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Michael enlisted in the army with the intention of serving on a long-term basis and, in his short time as a recruit, had proven himself to be a dedicated and able member of the team. Our legal specialists found it unlikely he would have been discharged if he hadn’t suffered those injuries and, based on the evidence provided, were able to successfully argue Michael had a high chance of reaching a senior level in the army. 

“His dream career was cut short by the injuries he suffered. He has had to leave his role early, take a lesser-paid job and learn to cope with a painful hand condition at a young age. If senior staff members in the army had heeded the recommendations of their medical peers, Michael would never have been in this situation.”