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£100,000 Settlement For Member Of Armed Forces Exposed To Gunfire

Irwin Mitchell worked with a soldier who developed tinnitus and hearing loss following an accident involving excessive noise from guns.

Robert Thornton joined the Armed Forces in 1995 and had served for the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan. During a training exercise at the Otterburn training area in January 2009, he developed significant hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears. The exercise meant that Mr Thornton was in close proximity to six 105mm light guns which were being fired. These were situated closer to Mr Thornton than normal.

At the time, Mr Thornton was wearing a radio headset which interfered with the hearing protection provided. This meant that he didn’t have a complete seal from the sound. Immediately following the exercise, Mr Thornton noticed that he was suffering hearing loss and tinnitus. The injuries he sustained were so severe that they led to him being discharged from the forces on medical grounds in March 2014.

With our help, Mr Thornton was able to recover £100,000 in compensation from the Armed Forces. This award took into account his suffering and loss of amenity as well as the end of his military career and earnings. Solicitor, David Johnston-Keay, said that the claim had resulted in a high value settlement, but stated that it came at a significant cost.

He added: “Mr Thornton had served in the Armed Forces from 17 years of age and grew up on a military base during his father’s Armed Forces career. Due to being medically discharged from the Army, Mr Thornton now finds himself looking for his first civilian job. Had the incident in January 2009 not occurred, he had the potential to fulfill a further 20 years of service in the Army."

If you or a loved one has suffered from military noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Military Injury Claims page for more information.

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