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Hope v Ministry of Defence, Cambridge County Court, 1 November 2001

20 November 2002
The issues

Injuries to hand and foot.

The facts

The Claimant was a male member of the Royal Engineers. He was aged 22 at the date of injury and 27 at the Assessment. The Claimant was on active service in Bosnia and on duty in the mountains when he was stranded in heavy snow without his heavy weather equipment. He had to spend two nights in sub-freezing temperatures in a Landrover vehicle before he was rescued. He suffered what was described as a moderate to severe non-freezing cold injury to his hands and feet. The resulting neuropathy affected the blood circulation to his hands and feet. Small variations in temperature could have significantly adverse effect on his symptoms, his hands and feet also tended to suffer from recurring blistering and intermittently he lost substantial use of his hands and feet and in addition, suffered marked pain and parathesia. In warmer conditions, the Claimant’s feet and hands sweated profusely, which could not be readily controlled.

Expert evidence showed that the Claimant’s condition was permanent but would not deteriorate. The Claimant was medically discharged from the Army, but was unable to pursue his career as a Carpenter in civilian life to full capacity because he couldn’t work outside or in cold conditions. Consequently, he suffered a substantial loss of future earnings.

The decision

The Claimant was awarded general damages, agreed and approved in the sum of £25,000.00.

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