03 August 2009
Brain damaged soldier deserves compensation, woman argues
A woman whose own son was killed while serving in Afghanistan is supporting another soldier's bid for compensation.
Jane Ford's son Ben was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province in September 2007, the Derby Evening Telegraph reports.
Speaking recently, she backed Royal Marine Tom Birch's legal fight for a payout.
He suffered serious brain injuries, a fractured jaw, a collapsed lung and a crushed hip when the Land Rover he was driving fell 100ft down a cliff.
The 21-year-old, who has no memory of the incident, is accusing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) - which currently has an annual budget in excess of £32 billion and is due to receive £36.9 billion in 2010-11 - of negligence.
Mr Birch suggests that officials ignored the fact that he had no driving licence.
He will never be able to hold down a full-time job as a result of the injuries he suffered to his brain.
Commenting on the case, Ms Ford said: "Tom was giving his all for his country and for the MoD to turn their back on him is disgusting."
Richard Geraghty, partner at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "Many members of the armed forces are unaware that they have the right to bring a claim for damages against the MoD where they have been injured as a result of a breach of a duty of care owed to them.
"As well as compensation claims through the courts, members of the armed forces who are injured during their duties may be eligible to receive an award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
"Under this scheme it is not necessary to show a breach of a duty of care on the part of the MoD as it is a no fault scheme."