Hilary Meredith Solicitors has secured one of the highest ever settlements in a Non-Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI) claim.
The firm’s client, Soldier D, joined the Army in 2006 and was medically discharged in 2016 as a result of his NFCI.
In December 2012, Soldier D, aged 22, attended an exercise at a location in England. The exercise was to last five days with those attending sleeping outdoors in tents. The temperature at the time was very cold, falling below freezing and never rising above 5C. There was snow and frost on the ground and ice on the puddles.
The exercise started on Monday morning. During the early hours of Wednesday morning Soldier D was required to carry out a foot patrol across boggy ground during which he fell repeatedly through the ice into water below, being submerged up to just above his waist. The patrol itself lasted for around two to three hours and ended at around 4am at a patrol base. Soldier D had been deployed on patrol with a change of socks but nothing else. He changed his socks at the patrol base but had to remain in wet boots and clothing. He and his colleagues had to remain there, outdoors, until around 7pm when the remainder of their kit was brought to them. The soldiers complained repeatedly to their Chain of Command (CoC), the officer commanding, and to the senior NCOs but they were told to “wind your neck in” and “crack on”. At no point were their feet inspected. 6 of them suffered NFCI’s.
As a result of his NFCI, Soldier D was placed on restricted duties, although he had to continue working in a garage carrying out vehicle inspections even though there was a very cold concrete floor that aggravated his problems.
Taking into account the different aspects of the claim, including general damages and special damages, Soldier D’s claim settled for a figure in excess of £800,000.00
Simon Quinn, Associate Solicitor at Hilary Meredith Solicitors specialises in NFCI claims and acted for Soldier D. Commenting on the case, he said:
“NCFI is a common injury suffered on military exercise in both the UK and abroad. Despite the advances in clothing technology it remains a serious problem for the Ministry of Defence.
“My client suffered stage 4 non-freezing cold injuries to the feet. Further exposure to the cold, during service, also provoked a Pain Syndrome disadvantaging him on the open labour market. The final settlement reflects the serious nature of his injuries.”
Hilary Meredith Solicitors specialises in NFCI claims. The firm is highly experienced in pursuing and bringing to a successful conclusion NFCI cases.
The firm not only specializes in military cases but across all areas of complex, high value personal injury and medical negligence claims.