MOD still playing the cnut

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by tropper66, May 9, 2011.

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  1. Just caught this on another site

    MoD bids to block soldier payouts - Yahoo! News

    Government lawyers have asked a High Court judge to block families' attempts to claim compensation for British soldiers killed in Iraq.

    Relatives of four soldiers killed in separate incidents say the Ministry of Defence failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives.

    But the MoD said the claims should be "struck out" because such vehicles and equipment were not available when the soldiers died, and argued that "complex" decisions about military equipment should be left to politicians and commanders not judges.

    Lawyers said the hearing in London would last three days, although judge Mr Justice Owen is expected to reserve judgment.

    James Eadie QC, for the MoD, told the court the compensation claims related to an incident in which a British Challenger tank opened fire on another British Challenger tank, after an officer became "disorientated", and incidents in which soldiers died when Snatch Land Rovers hit improvised bombs.

    Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, died from "friendly fire" in March 2003 after his Challenger 2 tank was hit by another Challenger 2 tank.

    Private Phillip Hewett, 21, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, died in July 2005 after a Snatch Land Rover was blown up. Private Lee Ellis, 23, of Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, died after a similar incident in February 2006 and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, 22, of Romford, Essex, died following a similar explosion in August 2007.

    Mr Eadie told the court that families were alleging that the two tanks involved in the "friendly fire" incident should have been fitted with "tactical safety equipment" - "target identity" or "situation awareness" devices.

    He said at the time the UK was looking to procure "battlefield identification systems" but the programme was in a developmental stage and not available.

    Mr Eadie said families were also alleging that soldiers killed in Snatch Land Rovers should have been travelling in vehicles with tougher armour.

    It was Mr Justice Owen who blocked the group action on PTSD and is IMHO a complete cnut

    The gunner of the Chally that knocked out the one mentioned, topped himself under a train last year
  2. So, what should have been done differently then?

    Was there anything available to the Army that could have resulted in these people still being alive?
  3. So you don't think the families should be compensated
  4. No, I don't.

    The AFCS provides compensation to the dependants, regardless, who should then be allowed to grieve in their own way.

    IMHO, this sort of thing is typical of the "where there's blame, there's a claim" litigation culture that exploits those who have lost a loved one, which seems to work on the premise that any death is preventable, blameable, and claimable.

    In the particular cases above, I don't think there is anything more that could have realistically been done, short of not being there in the first place.
  5. They had the best kit that had been bought at that time.
    You may as well say that every family that lost someone in the Falklands should sue for not having osprey issued.
    As soon as kit is bought it is issued, we had CQMS's getting warned that if anything happened and the guy's had not been issued the latest kit they were for the high jump. As soon as balistic pants and cod pieces came out we had them straight away.
  6. the group action for compensation by FI/NI victims was blocked in the same way and by the same judge in 2003
  7. When rederz (lcpl redpath) was killed alongside Lsgt Chris casey on an op sheffield, it was because despite our platoon commander asking for mastiffs the callsign was given snatch because if a lack if mastiffs. They were needed for more important tasks. Apparently op Sheffield was not a priority because that route had never been hit despite it being used repeatedly. It was a **** up waiting to happen and It was a **** up that cost me two close mates. And it doesn't surprise me 1 bit that the mod are tryin to chin off compo to the families.
  8. But sometimes the sheer bloody truth is that we join with unlimited liability, and your Commanders have to make military judgements, in which your death (or anyone elses), alongside other risks, must be weighed against the rewards of the task being completed.

    It's not nice, it's not something people like to think about, but that is every Commanders job. If you can't deal with the fact your boss gets to make those decisions please PVR.

    There will be cases of obvious negligence, but I would suggest they are fairly few and far between.
  9. Please don't patronise me. I can deal with my commanders making tough decisions. Especially my commander on the ground who in this case wad and still is a good bloke I have loads if respect for. However when I see two lives snuffed out and another bloke****ed up for life because somebody sat in an office decided that an op couldn't wait a few hours for life saving kit to become available, it tends to leave a bad taste in the mouth.
  10. My condolences.

    However, I suspect that the decision to proceed with an operation was not taken by somebody sat in an office (unless you count the Basra palace), but a senior commander who felt that on balance the risk of conducting the Op without Mastiff was outweighed by the need to go sooner.

    Maybe the decision was a poor one, without all the facts, influenced by political pressure - and sh#t decisions continue to get made all the time. Some of those decisions are made at higher headquarters, and some are made at section or individual level - and I would seriously worry if we went down the route of pinning the blame on those who got it wrong on the day.
  11. Nothing new here the MOD are simply protecting the public (Taxpayer) interest if they were not to do so they could and would be accused of all sorts. The decision will now go up to the High Court and possibly on from there, each side has a right of appeal.

    A lot of UK law is made in the Courts and by the Judiciary, its the way it works. It is for this sort of stuff as to why the High Court exists.

    The real shysters are the banks look how much money they must have spent trying to defend that mis selling scandal that they finally rolled over on today.
  12. Badgers - sorry, but I was there, as they say. That op was to the border, so could have been delayed for MASTIFF by reallocating assets. It was waiting to be hit and unfortunately Guardsmen were killed that night - a better understanding by HQs should have drawn the deduction that MASTIFF was the way ahead for that task. Particularly as the G2 assessment was that the whole 300km was a VA as it was canalised and not observed by blue at any point! It was not GREEN 19, but then nor was much of the province - every unit except the loggies and rear ops BG were on MASTIFF by then. It was not, in my view, claculated risk but blind gamble. This is not about pinning the blame on tactical commanders, rather on those who were making G3 O and D decisions with too little rigour or analysis.

    The runs into Basra Palace were conducted in unarmoured DROPS sometimes C2'd by SNATCH - there really was no other way to do it, but at least we had two BGs worth of assets to get the convoys in. The runs to the border could have had MASTIFF, particularly as they had no flanks, no support, no air, poor comms and scant med assets....
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Pensions and provision for dependents is one thing, but 'compensation' is something else entirely. Being killed or seriously injured in wartime is one of those unfortunate occupational hazards that we face on operations, and nobody seriously opposes the idea that the dependent families of service personnel should be properly looked after if the serviceman (or woman) is killed or wounded. Compensation, on the other hand, smells like somebody is after a bumper-fun, lottery-style, pay-out to families of soldiers killed in a certain way: how sick is that? Private X's family get nothing but the usual support because he was shot through the face in the course of a section attack on an enemy position, but Private Y's family get £500K because the gearbox of his unarmoured Landrover got blasted through his ribcage when he drove off the cleared road in the same contact and into a minefield. Bad idea.
  14. But the MoD said the claims should be "struck out" because such vehicles and equipment were not available when the soldiers died, and argued that "complex" decisions about military equipment should be left to politicians and commanders not judges.

    cpunk - sorry, if the MoD has asked for the claims to be struck out as vehs were not available they should be able to prove it in court. Read what I posted - I do not support second guessing tactical decisions, but the O and D/ EC plans should be open to analysis. To use your example, what if Pte Y could have had an armoured Landrover but someone decided, in spite of G2 advice, not to allocate one from a lower risk taskline?
  15. What none of us know, even if we were in the COB at the time, is what G2 assessment led to the Op on the border in the first place? Perhaps there was a time imperative iot to intercept a cross-border HVT and that a delay to wait for MAS had to be weighed?

    Perhaps commanders considered the canalised point you make and thought Snatch would offer greater mobility to move off route? Where does the tactical commander start and stop? So the Tp Comd requested MAS, did the Coy Comd agree? What about the BG CO was he the tactical commander who showed too little rigour in your view?

    How do you proposed to ‘open’ the EC/O&D plans to determine whether ‘rigour’ or ineptitude played a part in a death without considering the tactical decisions surrounding it? As you know this incident wasn’t about JtCap EC decisions but revolved around ‘tactical’ decisions taken and made from MND(SE) down to Coy Gp level. You can’t separate O&D/EC decisions for scrutiny and not consider the tactical ones that relate.

    The point the MOD makes, in my view, is that the Oxford coroner is not the place to determine tactical decisions or the apportionment of in-theatre equip 6 years after an event. If it’s about compensation than as pointed out we have the AFCS.

    If your point is the wider one about us being ill equipped to go to war in the first place then I'd agree.

    R_F? You know I love you, but on this we may disagree.