Suffolk TA soldier wins £100,000 damages from Ministry of Defence
- Credit: PA
A Suffolk soldier with the Territorial Army who faces a lifetime of pain after an accident in Afghanistan has won more than £100,000 damages from the Ministry of Defence.
Kieran Murphy, now 26, was with 9 Parachute Squadron RE, taking part in Operation Herrick 13, when he was injured at Patrol Base Nahidullah in October 2010.
The sapper was working away from the battlefield when he was hit by a large and heavy roll of material - used to create roads for tanks and other vehicles - being unloaded from a lorry by two colleagues.
Striking him on the neck and shoulder, it left him briefly unconscious, smashed one tooth and fractured four others.
After being evacuated to Camp Bastion for treatment, Mr Murphy, of Ipswich Close, Woodbridge, Suffolk, was flown back to the UK in December 2010.
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His counsel, Scott Matthewson, told Judge Rosalind Coe at London’s High Court that while the accident caused relatively minor injuries, it gave rise to the condition of fibromyalgia.
“It is common ground that he suffers from that now and will suffer from widespread pain, albeit of varying intensity, for the rest of his life.”
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Mr Murphy, who comes from a Forces family, was discharged from the Army in September 2013 and now works as an estate workforce manager in the NHS.
The MoD admitted breach of its duty of care but disputed that the accident caused the condition, which can occur spontaneously, and the amount of compensation.
On Monday, the judge said that causation was established and that the accident led to Mr Murphy developing fibromyalgia as well as a mixed depressive and anxiety disorder.
She added that Mr Murphy, who described the loss of his career as devastating, made strenuous attempts to regain fitness whilst in the Army and become deployable and later, as a civilian, to obtain and maintain well-paid employment.
“The claimant was committed to and would have stayed in the Army. The Army way of life was what he wanted. He would have fulfilled that ambition but for this accident.”
The final amount of damages - which includes awards of £30,000 for pain and suffering and £10,000 for loss of congenial employment plus sums for lost earnings - has yet to be agreed but lawyers assessed the total as more than £100,000.