MoD avoid starting compensation culture

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Apr 23, 2007.

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  1. thisislondon
    Secret £1million payout to SAS soldier crippled by US helicopter

    The Ministry of Defence has secretly paid £1million to a wounded SAS soldier in the first case of compensation for injuries sustained on the battlefield during wartime.

    After a five-year legal battle, the MoD privately settled the claim made by "Soldier J', who was crushed beneath a United States helicopter in Afghanistan while fighting the Taliban.

    By settling out of court, the MoD avoided creating a legal precedent. Soldier J, a 37-year-old former corporal, is also banned from discussing details of the incident.

    Defence chiefs had felt reassured that they were protected against claims of battlefield liability by the 1996 Court of Appeal judgment against Royal Artillery gunner Richard Mulcahy, who lost his hearing in the first Gulf War. His case for damages failed on the grounds his employer's duty of care did not extend to the wartime battlefield.

    But Soldier J's lawyer, Geraldine McCool, said combat immunity had since been redefined by the Crown's advisers. Her firm, McCool Patterson Hemsi, has 80 cases pending of veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq intending to test the MoD. If successful, they could cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.

    Soldier J was injured by a Chinook helicopter which was supposed to transport him and his colleagues to Qalai Janghi fort in northern Afghanistan in 2001 to support a CIA-led operation. Thousands of Taliban prisoners had staged a riot in the fort during which a CIA agent was kicked and beaten to death.

    As the helicopter descended through cloud, it landed on top of Soldier J's vehicle. He suffered severe throat, neck and shoulder injuries which ended his Special Forces career.

    The MoD stood by its post-incident report which cleared the American air crew and blamed instead the SAS patrol on the ground. But SAS sources described the report as 'a whitewash' designed to dissuade Soldier J from launching a legal claim against the US government.

    One soldier said: "You can't blame the guys on the ground in this case. The pilot and crew are responsible for where they land and should be observing through the windscreen, portholes and the lowered tailgate.

    "Soldier J was very lucky not to have been killed. The downdraught from the Chinook threw up a huge dust cloud. There was no escape route for the British vehicle. This post-incident report is a joke."

    Hereford MP Paul Keetch, a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: "I hope it is not the case that British taxpayers' money has been spent on sparing the embarrassment of US forces. Compensation should be pitched according to the wounds inflicted and not designed to stop a story coming out or to oblige a Coalition partner."

    The MoD conceded that there was a discrepancy between the deal offered to Soldier J and the standard payments provided to soldiers under War Disablement Pension rules. A spokesman said: "After an investigation found that British parties were to blame, there was no question of the Ministry of Defence asking the US for money.

    "Payouts under the War Disablement Pension scheme are based on the injury, not loss of earnings, so there was a difference in this case."
  2. and your point is? :?
  3. Good for him! New coat of paint for the boathouse and drinks all round!
  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Much as I am pleased that our boy got a good payout, I'd like to see the septics paying out for all the other fcuk-ups they make. Let's face it, there have been a few.
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    How the fcuk can it be the ground teams fault for a helicopter landing on them? Jeez...
  6. Er..... because they were there??? Because they didn't hear it? Because the fcukoff big down draft and sand storm didn't give them a clue it was coming in to land? It can oly be one of those, couldn't be the Septic aircrew's fault, now could it?
  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    MMMMM, yes. There you are in your pinky, and suddenly a wopping great chopper decides to land on your location. You are suddenly surrounding by a whirling great cloud of dust that stops you seeing bugger all, and you don't know which way to drive. It is the job of the guys in the heli to make sure that the bit of ground upon which they wish to land is clear. It is the job of the guy in the pinky to make sure that the ground over which he drives is clear of obstacles, not generally speaking to check if the sky is going to fall on his head.
  8. The 'septics' didn't pay for this one either...We did, apparently it was based on loss of earnings - not on the injury. Now why this one?
  9. Granted I'm a civvy, but that's what I can't get my head around: at face-value it seems a very odd conclusion. Are there any belly-popper fliers out there who can say whether it’s a ‘normal’ conclusion?

    I could be entirely wrong, but this "US crew not at fault" decision seems to tie in neatly with the UK and US governments' attitudes to US personnel giving evidence at inquests.
  10. Exactly 'Dozy', someone asked the point of this thread...Think all others here have got it in one.......
  11. I just hope that he has got more cash out of this than he would have otherwise. Good luck to him.
  12. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Its a conspiracy.

    I'm a helicopter pilot and I know its my fault if I land on top of something or somebody on the ground. There is no situation where it could be the person on the grounds fault, well maybe on MoD planet but not planet earth.

    Chancing tw@ts
  13. What about air traffic controller's who have directed planes in the wrong direction, and anti-aircraft units that have shot planes out of the sky.

    I am not saying that this has anything to do with the incident in question, merely suggesting that there are situations where an aircraft is lost/damaged and the aircraft commander is not at fault.
  14. There are many ways groundcrew or troops on the ground can screw up and get the cab to land on them.

    However, one clue may be in the dust storm that was thrown up, it creates a similar phenomenon to that which in snow called white out. Other things that weren't reported may be a factor - day/night, weather, how close the vehicles were to the landing site they had designated, what the vehicles were.

    We simply do not have enough information to comment on this
  15. Typical Labour...another cover up and we the tax payers foot the bill....
    Blair requires the rough end of a pinapple inserted per rectum!