The Ministry of Defence is to pay £1.8 million compensation following tragic accidents in Afghanistan. £1.7 million compensation is to be paid to a paratrooper who sustained severe injuries in Afghanistan and £100,000 compensation is to be paid to the family of an Airman who was killed in a Nimrod crash.
The paratrooper, Sergeant Stuart Pearson, who received £1.7 million compensation tragically sustained such severe injuries that he lost one leg and badly injured the other. The QC representing him explained that Mr Pearson lost his left leg and severely injured his right foot whilst attempting to rescue colleagues who were trapped in a minefield which was not marked on their map. Mr Pearson’s right foot was so badly injured that it may also have to be amputated in the future. Mr Pearson was described as suffering acute and chronic ongoing pain as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Mr Pearson may be awarded more compensation in the future if his right foot has to be amputated. The £1.7 million compensation awarded to Mr Pearson was to compensate him for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that he incurred and for his future care costs and prosthetic costs.
In Mr Pearson’s case it was alleged that the MOD breached their duty of care by failing to provide a map showing the location of a minefield and by not having appropriate helicopters to rescue Mr Pearson’s and his colleagues.
Lieutenant Steven Sawbrick, an airman, was killed when the nimrod he was travelling in exploded in Afghanistan during midair refuelling. The nimrod plane did not have on board sufficient fire detection or suppression systems. The mother of Mr Sawbrick, raised an action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh against the MOD and was successfully awarded £100,000 compensation.
I hope that the MOD have learned lessons from both of these cases and that no other service person or their families have to suffer similar traumas.