We successfully recovered compensation for the mother of a teenage cadet who died while undertaking aircraft training with the RAF.
Nicholas Langley-Rice was 15 when he went on an Air Experience Flight in a Grob Tutor aircraft with a qualified instructor. During the training, the aircraft collided with a glider. The collision itself should not have been fatal – however, the instructor had a medical condition that made it likely that he died instantly. Nicholas was unable to eject from the aircraft and was killed in the crash.
His mother, Julia Rice, went to the pre-inquest meeting without legal representation. She found the MoD’s attitude demeaning and restrictive, and was disappointed to find that their legal team argued with her, rather than working to uncover the facts about Nicholas’ death.
She contacted our specialist Military Injury Claims team, who were able to represent her properly at the inquest. They ensured the doctor in charge of the pilot’s medical reports was called as a witness, providing crucial information as to why the collision had such catastrophic consequences.
We secured compensation from the MoD, which will enable Julia to access the support she needs to move forward with her life as much as possible. Following Nicholas’ death, she has since campaigned on aircraft safety.
Speaking about the inquest, Julia said: “The MoD was so patronising towards me towards me throughout the pre-inquest meeting, I realised I would need legal representation at the inquest itself. Without my legal team, many of the salient facts about my child’s accident would never have emerged. Also, I could not have argued with the Coroner as my barrister had to, to have the RAF doctor responsible for the pilot’s medical reports called as a witness. Yet the information gleaned from him formed an integral and important part of the evidence.”
She was represented by Partner Geraldine McCool and solicitor Laura Gabbey-Cristofini in our Manchester office.
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