A former soldier of African descent is taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence over ‘cold weather’ injuries sustained during a training exercise.
Gambian-born Abdoulie Bojang, who now lives in Warwickshire, is seeking compensation of £200,000 over claims the MOD “failed to take into account his ethnicity” while serving with the Royal Logistics Corps.
The 30-year-old was training in the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Canada in 2014 when he was exposed to low temperatures of -30C. Later he found that his hands and feet were numb and had changed colour.
His injuries meant he could no longer continue his military career and he was medically discharged from the Armed Forces last year.
‘Cold weather’ injuries – or non-freezing cold injuries – occur when a body’s core temperature remains below its natural level for a prolonged amount of time, subsequently reducing blood flow to the hands and feet.
Research indicates that people of African and Afro-Caribbean descent are 30 times more likely to suffer non-freezing cold injuries than Caucasian people.
Mr Bojang is one of several hundred soldiers who have taken legal action against the MoD after suffering non-freezing cold injuries, according to The Times.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation.
“Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation, we do so.”