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Royal Marine wins damages appeal after brain injury

Posted in: Armed Forces Injuries Workplace Injuries 

Thomas Birth, a Royal Marine from Derbyshire, won his fight for damages after his Land Rover plunged off a cliff in Afghanistan seven years ago.  In 2006, the 18-year-old lance corporal fell 100ft after he lost control of his vehicle in Helmand Provence and sustained serious head injuries.

After having relearned to walk and talk, the now 25-year-old Mr. Birch has been awarded with compensation from the Ministry of Defence.  He suffered brain, skull and internal organ injuries of such a great scale in the crash that he has had to relearn most of his basic abilities.

Thomas Birch began action against the Ministry of Defence last year, claiming that there was a fault in the vehicle and that he had been allowed to drive without a license or military permit.  The High Court dismissed this, saying that there was no fault to be found in the vehicle and that driving was entirely his decision, and therefore, responsibility.

On Friday morning, however, Lord Justices Longmore, Tomlinson and Lewison reversed the judgment and entered judgement in Mr. Birch’s favour. A figure of compensation has not yet been decided but The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme awarded him with a lump sum of £318,000 and annual tax-free payments of £27,000.

In 2009 Thomas Birch won “achiever of the year” in Headway’s – a brain charity – annual awards.  After fighting back from such serious injuries, Mr. Birch is now a fully qualified personal trainer.

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