Jason Brady, military claims and PTSD expert at Blackwater Law recently attended the APIL Military Claims Conference 2014.
What emerged makes interesting reading. The total number of new claims brought against the MOD in 2012/2013 totalled 5,827. When compensation claims are received by the Ministry of Defence, they have to weigh up whether they have a legal liability to pay any compensation. Once liability is proved, then the MOD is able to award any compensation necessary.
Over the period of 2012/2013 the MOD received claims spanning a number of areas, namely employer liability, public liability, third party motor claims and medical negligence claims.
From 1987 all service personnel have legally been able to sue the Ministry of Defence, just as any other employee can in other industries and organisations. Compensation claims are made on the basis that the MOD has been negligent and as a result the employee has suffered harm. Many claims are dealt with through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
In 2012/2013 a total of 2,517 service personnel employer liability claims were settled at a cost of £51.3 million. In contrast the figures for 2011/2012 stand at 1,745 claims settled with £67.3 million paid out in compensation and 2011/2012 just under 2,500 claims settled for £46.3 million.
Last year 724 civilian employer liability claims were settled at a total cost of £18.2 million. Many of these were for Noise Induced Hearing Loss and Asbestos related illnesses. The amount of settled public liability claims increased for the period 2012/2013 to 334, and the amount of compensation paid out rose starkly to £23.7 million. This is in comparison with 2010/11 where 227 claims settled, with £4 million paid out in compensation and in 2011/2012 where 251 claims settled with total compensation awards of £9 million.
Clinical Negligence claims were surprisingly low, although many law firms and leading charities expect this to rise over the next few years. The amount of claims received and settled has remained fairly constant over the last three years. However, compensation awarded for the 17 claims that settled totalled £7.1 million, making each claim worth almost £418,000.
Blackwater Law gives expert legal advice to military and ex-military personnel for a variety of military compensation claims. To speak to Jason Brady please call Blackwater Law on 0800 083 5500.