Our military claims solicitors helped a client, Ben*, claim compensation after the RAF failed to provide sufficient protective equipment while he worked on their bases. Without adequate protection, he inhaled toxic fumes and now suffers from the debilitating neurological disease, multiple sclerosis (MS).
The compensation will cover Ben’s lost earnings now he can no longer work and fund the care and adaptive equipment he needs to manage his symptoms.
Ben worked as a painter and finisher at various RAF bases. He regularly did dangerous tasks like being inserted head-first by two colleagues into the air-intakes of Red Arrows Hawk jets to strip the paint inside. Despite regularly using chemicals containing Organic Solvents (OS), his employers regularly failed to give Ben given suitable protective breathing equipment.
In these conditions, Ben was exposed to very high levels of OS, which led him to develop multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a condition affecting the brain and spinal cord which can cause problems like fatigue, muscle spasms, difficulty walking, and more.
His condition left him unable to work and likely to need increasing levels of care and specialist accommodation as his condition gets worse.
How We Helped
Ben contacted our specialist military injury solicitor, Paul Weston, to enquire about making a compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence (MOD). As a former member of the Intelligence Corps, Paul was the perfect solicitor to help Ben get the justice he deserved.
Paul got to work gathering scientific and expert evidence to show that Ben’s MS had been caused by the chemicals he’d inhaled while working without safety equipment. He started by getting a leading expert in diseases to confirm that there was a link between Ben’s solvent exposure and his multiple sclerosis.
Paul then got a report written from an occupational hygienist who created a model of the likely levels of solvent exposure that Ben experienced during his various postings. Finally, Paul approached a consultant neurologist who specialised in the causes of MS to prepare a report to confirm that Ben’s solvent exposure had in fact caused his MS.
At the joint settlement meeting, we presented all the evidence to the MOD. However, they didn’t make Ben a compensation offer, instead raising the issue of there being a time limit for bringing personal injury cases.
With no offer on the table, the court allowed us to bring the claim anyway. We took Ben’s case to trial to get him the compensation and justice he deserved. During the trial, our expert team made several convincing arguments against the MOD.
After we’d given all our evidence, the MOD suddenly changed their position and agreed to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
We came to an agreement for a compensation settlement amount of £3.3 million for Ben on that same day. The compensation will help cover the costs of the specialist accommodation and care Ben would need in the future. It also accounts for the income Ben has lost now he can no longer work.
“We were delighted that a settlement was reached. We wanted to make sure Ben received the justice and the compensation that he would need in the future” - Christopher Kardahji, military injury claims solicitor.
Paul Weston sadly died before the case concluded – it was taken over by his colleague Christopher Kardahji.
If you work for the military and you develop a chronic illness from having to do dangerous work without protective safety equipment, our military injury solicitors can help. Visit our military injury claims page for more information or get in touch online.
*Not actual names used.
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