Stockport law firm, Gorvins Solicitors, have announced they have secured a life-changing settlement for a Commonwealth soldier medically discharged by the MOD despite his non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) being assessed as “mild”.
This settlement has secured a future for this veteran and his young family, after taking over from another solicitor securing the win.
Gorvins’ client sustained an NFCI on exercise in the winter in the UK and despite this, his exposure to cold continued thereby potentially exacerbating his injury. The client is from Ghana and of black African ethnicity and hence known by the MoD to be up to 6 times more susceptible to a cold injury than his Caucasian colleagues.
The NFCI led to his medical discharge from the Army. His symptoms are mild but continue, leaving him handicapped on the labour market. With these mild symptoms, he has been able to return to work, and whilst the Solicitors Gorvins took over the case from (in October, 2020) had originally issued proceedings with the statement of value limited to £50,000, and indeed the MOD had made an offer to settle at only £50,000 (gross), Gorvins agreed settlement at the JSM (joint settlement meeting) on the 18th June 2021 at £415,000 gross.
Unfortunately the veteran’s previous Solicitors had agreed to apportion liability at 75/25% in his favour, leaving the veteran and Gorvins bound to accept only 75% of the full value of the claim.
Specialist Military Personal Injury Partner at the firm, Gary Boyd commented:
I was delighted to achieve this result for this client. He had moved from Africa to the UK specifically to serve in the British Army which he did with courage and honour only to be so unnecessarily injured whilst on an exercise in England. Despite his early reporting of his injuries and the diagnosis of NFCI, his cold exposure did not end there and hence it is our and our client’s belief his injuries were compounded.
“He, like so many ‘Commonwealth Soldiers’ deserved so much better from the Army and country he so loyally served. Further, his previous Solicitors, from whom we took over conduct unfortunately persuaded him to agree a split of liability with the MOD whereby he was bound to accept 75% of the full value of his claim. We would almost invariably advise our clients against agreeing such a split of liability and would do so only in exceptional circumstances. I am delighted that we were able to secure a very substantial settlement, despite this, for this client thereby facilitating a brighter and much more secure future for himself and his young family. Like so many soldiers and veterans, he was reluctant to bring a claim against the MOD but was a delightful, and very deserving, client.”
It is vital that those suffering from suspected NFCI’s seek early legal advice, as strict time limits (usually three years from the incident causing the injury) apply in bringing claims. This is particularly important in the many cases where soldiers face the possibility of early medical discharge.