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RJW solicitors settle military claim bought forward by an Army soldier

01 December 2009

RJW recently helped a solider claim damages in connection with an assault he experienced during training. Our client was undertaking an obstacle course as part of his basic training where he was in the process of climbing a sloped wall which held two ropes, side by side. Our client was on one rope and had reached the top of the wall and was assisting his colleague who was experiencing difficulty in completing this task, on the parallel rope, in getting over the wall when the incident occurred.  As he did so a staff sergeant physical training instructor (PTI) began swearing at our client. The PTI gratuitously and aggressively grabbed the base of our client’s rope and flicked it causing our client to fall. At this point our client was at the top of the obstacle with one leg and one arm over the wall and as a result of the rope being meddled with he fell 10 feet down landing awkwardly on the ground with his neck and left shoulder taking the force of the fall. He was subsequently referred to an army medic and was told that he had sustained some kind of muscular injury.  He was put into rehabilitation where he underwent further physiotherapy. However when matters did not improve a MRI scan was conducted and due to the medical results our client was medically discharged from the army. When he was seen by another NHS specialist he was advised that he had sustained a brachial plexus injury which appeared to be of a serious nature. RJW solicitors highlighted that such an act was inherently dangerous, unnecessary and in breach of the PTI’s duty of care. It was foreseeable that such an act could have dangerous consequences given the height of the obstacle. It was obvious that the act constituted an assault in that the rope was flicked with the deliberate intention of causing harm. Before our client was instructed by RJW, he had submitted a claim to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which had been rejected. RJW lodged an appeal and it was later accepted that the incident occurred as alleged, allowing our client to receive £45 000. Our expert solicitors provided our client with a full service in dealing with his AFCS case, allowing him to be awarded £5000 for his injury.