Military injury news

Bereavement award after military injury death in Nimrod

A Scottish jury has made the highest bereavement award yet for a military injury to the mother of an RAF pilot who was flying a Nimrod aircraft which caught fire and exploded while on reconnaissance over Afghanistan in 2006.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh said that compensation of £100,000 should be paid to the woman for the grief, sorrow and loss of society she has suffered since her flight lieutenant son, who was the co-pilot, was killed with 13 others in the plane accident.

The air force victims had been members of 120 Squadron, based at Kinloss.

The Ministry of Defence was held liable for the fatal crash because there were no adequate fire detection and suppression systems on board the aircraft, which caught fire during midair re-fuelling.

An official board of inquiry, and later an independent review of the safety of the Nimrod aircraft, found that there had been systematic failings and in March 2009 and as a result of a writ issued by two of the families, the MoD admitted the plane had not been airworthy.

In two previous cases relating to the same air accident, juries awarded £90,000 and £98,000 to parents of victims and £60,000 to the sister of one of them.

Legal experts in Scotland will now be looking to see if judges sitting alone will make similar awards of damages to family members who have been affected by the death of a loved one through the negligence or actions of another.

It is possible that criminal proceedings may be brought against individuals deemed responsible for the military injury deaths, in which case, if anyone is found guilty, the families of the 12 RAF men, a Royal Marine and a soldier, may consider instructing solicitors to make further claims for compensation.


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