Gorvins solicitor, Gary Boyd has secured a record non- freezing cold injury (NFCI) settlement for an undisclosed client. Damages of £920,000 were achieved .We’re not aware of a larger settlement concerning an NFCI claim.

Case details

Gorvins acted on behalf of the Claimant who after serving for 10 months in the British military, suffered a non- freezing cold injury (of which one type is ‘ trench foot’).

The claimant was still undergoing basic training and was on exercise in Bavaria. The exercise took place in late January and as such the weather conditions were extremely cold (below zero). In the course of the exercise, the claimant and his colleagues were out in an armoured vehicle which broke down.

After exiting the vehicle to complete a patrol on foot, the claimant was exposed to snow, ice and extreme temperatures. Although the claimant was told they would be returning to the vehicle, they in fact did not and they were forced to spend the night exposed to the elements without any insulation or sleeping bags.

This prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions resulted in the claimant developing a non-freezing cold injury. Unfortunately, the effects of the NFCI were chronic, disabling and long-lasting, and led to him being medically discharged from the Army .

In the aftermath of the injury, the claimant was also subject to racially aggravated bullying and harassment and developed severe psychological symptoms as a result.

Securing appropriate compensation

Gorvins took on the claim and pursued a legal settlement that took into account the claimant’s physical disability and the severe psychological issues they suffered as a result of their experience in the armed forces. The gross settlement figure , which include aggravated damages due to the bullying and harassment amounted to £920,000.00.

Achieving interim payments for the claimant’s rehabilitation

Because of the needs of the claimant, it became clear that early rehabilitation was required to facilitate his recovery or to at least reduce his suffering, particularly concerning their mental health. We pursued interim payments from the MoD (the defendant) to pay for this support, but they initially rejected the request.

Head of military personal injury, Gary Boyd did not accept this result and pursued action by contacting the claimant’s local MP and the then Secretary of State for Defence, requesting their support in getting the appropriate help for the claimant.

Eventually, an agreement was arrived at whereby interim payments were made by the MoD to cover the much-needed rehabilitation, support and associated case management , improving  the well-being of the claimant.

The result of the claim

Including  the figures awarded to our client under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme,  Gorvins were able to secure a gross settlement of £920,000 including  aggravated damages both for the non-freezing cold injury and the subsequent bullying and harassment.

While the claimant still faces significant challenges on their road to wellness, the damages recovered by Gorvins and the rehabilitation the interim payments funded will support them on their ongoing road to recovery.

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