Soldiers’ families get permission to sue MoD over Iraq deaths

Relatives of soldiers killed while patrolling in Snatch Land Rovers have won the right to sue the Government for compensation. Numerous members of the armed forces were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan while patrolling in the Land Rovers, nicknamed ‘mobile coffins’ by squaddies. Families of several servicemen are now claiming damages over the deaths – claiming the Ministry of Defence put soldiers’ lives at risk by ordering them to patrol in the vehicles, designed for use in Ulster, which offered very limited protection against IED roadside bombs.

Senior Partner at Hilary Meredith Solicitors, Hilary Meredith said:

“These vehicles do not offer sufficient protection for members of the British Army deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan where they are required to be used in situations they were not created for.

“Since 2003 almost 40 UK personnel have been killed while using Snatch Land Rovers. Tragically, most of these soldiers were killed in IED incidents because the Snatch could not withstand the blast. The British Army replaced the Snatch 110s with more heavily armoured, Ocelot vehicles in 2010 but by then it’s already too late for some families, whose relatives will never return home.”

The soldiers’ families claim that proper equipment would have prevented the deaths and Judges at the Court of Appeal in London ruled that they could sue the Government for negligence, saying the Ministry of Defence had a duty of care over its personnel even when they were on the battlefield.

Hilary adds: “This is a landmark ruling and although the judgment provided mixed news for the Snatch Land Rover Claimants in terms of their own cases, it was an important victory for the wider principle for which they have fought. We wish them the best of luck.”