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Soldier wins damages for injuries

Posted in: Armed Forces Injuries Employer Negligence Foot Injuries Workplace Injuries 

An ex-soldier has won more than £125,000 in compensation after suffering frostbite-like injuries during a training drill.  John Billett (29) suffered permanent injuries to his feet after being forced to lie in freezing conditions during a leadership training exercise. Having left the armed forced in 2011, the MoD accepted 75% liability for Mr Billett’s life-changing injuries and Judge Andrew Edis QC awarded him £127,956 in damages.

Mr Billett, a former Lance Corporeal in the Royal Logistics Corps, completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2010 and was commended for his bravery.  In 2009 however, he was forced to lie in temperatures as low as -8°C and camp in freezing holes during a training exercise in Aldershot.

‘£100,000 compensation for reduced earning capacity’

Following the exercise he was unable to walk properly and described the feeling in his feet as “as though he was walking on glass”.  As a result of the injuries, Mr Billett now suffers from burning sensations, tremors, pins and needles and swollen joints.

The ex-soldier’s award included £12,500 for his “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”, around £5,000 for the extra cost of heating his home, over £8,000 for warm clothing and around £100,000 for reduced earning capacity.

Barrister Laura Collignon said that if he had not suffered his injuries he would have remained in the service until his scheduled retirement in 2015, and would most likely have achieved the rank of staff sergeant.

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