Military Injury Claims

Lariam (Mefloquine) Compensation Claims

Lariam, also known as Mefloquine, has often been given to soldiers and other service personnel deployed overseas. The tablets are used to prevent malaria, but have a long list of known potential psychological side effects.

If you've been prescribed Lariam since 2004, without being warned of its dangers, and have since suffered psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression or panic attacks, our solicitors could help you claim compensation.

Safer alternatives to Lariam have been available for many years, making the Ministry of Defence's use of the drug particularly concerning. Militaries in many other countries have either banned it, or consider it a 'last resort' only, including:

  • The US
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands

We've worked for many years to help members of the Armed Forces, and are currently acting for several clients from different military backgrounds who've suffered from side effects of Lariam. A number of our specialist military lawyers are former service personnel themselves, giving us a unique insight into these claims.

Mental health issues are rarely discussed openly in the military, and we understand the concerns that many members of the Armed Forces may have about making a claim. Whatever your circumstances, we will always handle your case sensitively, putting your wellbeing first at all times.

If you have any questions about claiming compensation for complications caused by a Lariam prescription, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.

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Expert lawyers with a service background
Experience claiming against MoD since abolition of Crown Immunity in 1987
Offices throughout the UK

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Lariam Compensation Claims - More Information
    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim for a military injury or illness, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident or illness, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      The claim will begin by sending a formal letter of claim to the Ministry of Defence. After this, the claim will usually follow the same four stages:

      1.Investigation. We'll begin by determining the extent of your injuries, and the losses they may result in. This will involve obtaining copies of your military medical notes, and any civilian hospitals you've received treatment at. We'll also need a copy of your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme file, and your personnel file.

      The MoD will undertake an investigation, which usually starts by contacting your unit to confirm details of your accident, and obtain any relevant paperwork. They may also speak to any of your colleagues who were present at the time of the accident, and can provide witness evidence.

      2.Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice.

      3.Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to the MoD, and they can either accept liability or contest the claim.

      4.Resolution. If the MoD accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin.

      We will try to settle your claim on the best terms, considering options in addition to bringing court proceedings. The MoD should also do the same, as they are obliged to as a branch of government.

      Starting proceedings doesn't mean that your claim will definitely go to trial. Instead, it means that the court take over the management of you case, setting strict timetables for the exchange of documents, witness evidence and expert reports. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there to support you every step of the way.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 022 3321 for your free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI), this may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it's always worth checking whether you're already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement. 

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a military accident or illness will depend on a few factors related to your condition, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      When calculating your compensation, we'll take the following things into account:

      • Your age, rank and specialism
      • The pain and suffering caused by your injury or illness
      • Loss of your service earnings caused by delayed promotion or medical discharge
      • Loss of any civilian earnings
      • Loss of pension contributions / resettlement grant
      • Loss of a commitment bonus
      • Loss of specialist pay and allowances
      • Loss of service benefits including loss of subsidised quarters and Learning Credits
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids

      Any settlement is paid by the Ministry of Defence, out of a specific budget set aside for these situations. It doesn't come out of your unit's budget, and it doesn't come out of the budget which pays for kit, equipment and other resources.

      For more information, call us on 0800 022 3321 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Will Claiming Impact My Career?
    • No. The MoD understands that they ask service personnel to do a difficult job in dangerous situations – and unfortunately accidents do happen. They recognise and respect the individual's right to bring a legal claim for injuries. Claiming won't affect your entitlement to a pension, either.

      The Ministry of Defence should not discriminate against personnel who bring compensation claims after an injury. If you're planning on continuing your service career after your claim, then there are very strict rules about discriminating against someone on this basis.

    • Meet The Experts
    • Our military injury team have been helping service men and women claim against the MoD since 1987. The team includes several former military personnel, and includes:

      • Geraldine McCool, who was described as the “Military Master” by The Lawyer. Geraldine is secretary of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group and heads our specialist military injury team.
      • Paul Harrington, who completed an operational tour in Northern Ireland as a Bomb Disposal Operator. Paul brings his expertise as a former Ammunition Technical Officer and specialises in claims involving equipment, weapons, munitions and training accidents.
      • Simon Harrington, who has over 15 years of experience bringing claims against the MoD. Simon specialises in cold injury claims, having helped hundreds of service personnel to claim over £10 million in compensation for their injuries.
      • Andrew Buckham, who served in the Army for seven years before joining Irwin Mitchell. Andrew specialises in claims relating to serious and fatal injuries. He is also a trustee for the Defence Medical Welfare Service

      Meet our military injury team.

Getting the support from Irwin Mitchell with my adapted house has given me the encouragement and independence I needed to get out there and find other things I am interested in."

Ray Lowrie
Ray Lowrie

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Lariam?

Lariam has a long list of established psychological side effects, leading militaries in many countries to ban its use altogether. These side effects include:

  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-endangering behaviour 
  • Severe anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations 
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality changes
  • Aggression

If you've experienced mental health problems after being prescribed Lariam, but are unsure if your symptoms are covered by the list above, you may still be able to claim. Contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation with our solicitors, and we'll work out whether we think you'll have a case.

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Who Can Claim Compensation For Psychological Problems Caused By Lariam?

Despite the drug's side effects being known and a requirement for a risk assessment to be carried out prior to the supply of Lariam since 2004, Lariam has still been prescribed to large numbers of Armed Forces personnel, without adequate procedures for the prescription of the drug being followed. It's understood that at least 17,368 personnel were prescribed Lariam at least once between the start of April 2007 and the end of March 2015, according to official MoD figures.

If you've been prescribed the drug since 2004 without being warned of the risks, and have since experienced mental health issues, then you could be able to make a compensation claim.

As part of a claim, we'll take a detailed look at your medical records, investigating:

  • How Lariam was prescribed to you (whether individually, or as part of a group who were all given the same drug)
  • he extent to which you were warned about Lariam’s side effects
  • he type of symptoms you experienced, when they started to happen, and how they developed
  • he treatment you received

Once we've gathered this evidence, we'll need to establish a link between your condition and the supply of Lariam.

If you were kept on the drug after reporting side effects, then this could strengthen your claim further. Despite the availability of other anti-malaria treatments, the MoD didn't offer any alternative drugs to most personnel when they were required to as part of the prescribing process. 

You generally have three years from the date of developing mental health issues – or of realising they were connected to Lariam – to make a claim for compensation. You can claim whether the symptoms developed while you were still on deployment, or post-deployment, provided you bring a claim within the time limits.

We've represented members of many different branches of the Armed Forces, including: 

  • Army
  • Navy
  • RAF
  • Marines
  • Territorial forces
  • Reserve forces

If you're unsure whether or not you'll be able to make a claim, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case. We'll discuss your circumstances, and offer our expert advice on your options.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Lariam Compensation Claim?

We understand that the idea of pursuing a compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you are struggling with mental health issues as a result of a Lariam prescription. In these situations, it helps to have the experts on your side.

Not only are we specialists in military compensation claims, with a number of former service personnel in our legal team, we've also handled many pharmaceutical drug litigation claims.

Our solicitors understand the issues that are unique to group action claims, with experience in large-scale transport, aviation, defective products and clinical negligence cases. We use all of this experience and knowledge when investigating your Lariam claim, making sure that you get the compensation that’s right for you.

We've been very active in the ongoing process of holding the MoD to account for their improper prescriptions of Lariam, calling for updated guidelines and pursuing group legal action on behalf of our clients.

  • Army Families Federation (AFF)
  • Blesma
  • Combat Stress
  • Help For Heroes
  • Pilgrim Bandits
  • Royal British Legion
  • Walking With The Wounded

If you have any questions about how the claims process works, or how we can help, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. You can give us a call on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.

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Awards and Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven previous occasions.
"One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Royal British Legion


We're proud to be part of The Royal British Legion Solicitor's Group

Our Armed Forces Expertise

Since 1987, our specialist military injury team has helped hundreds of injured personnel from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy to claim compensation. We are considered one of the top law firms in the country for military claims and several cases we were involved in were recently featured in the Chilcot Inquiry.

We work closely with a number of Armed Forces welfare branches and organisations, and are the PAX appointed legal representatives under the PAX Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. We're also proud supporters of:

  • The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group
  • Help For Heroes
  • SSAFA Forces Help

Several of our solicitors were part of team that recently won The Claims Innovation Award for Legal Service Team of the Year (2016) for their pro bono work within The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG).

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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