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Tomlinson v. The Ministry of Defence


Court of Appeal

On 26th April 2007 the Court of Appeal rejected the MOD’s appeal over the level of damages awarded to Mr Tomlinson, a former SAS soldier who was severely injured in a live training exercise. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judges’ award of £4.7m. Mr Paul Rose Q.C. represented Mr Tomlinson at the Trial over 5 days in June 2006 and before the Court of Appeal in April when the Defendant’s application for permission to appeal was rejected
Mr Tomlinson sustained a severe brain injury as a result of shrapnel injuries received while on a live training exercise in Oman in 2002. As a result of his injuries Mr Tomlinson suffers from dysexcutive syndrome. He lacks concentration, has a short temper and very poor memory, and is impulsive. He is a risk to himself and others. Although physically able the judge held he requires 24 hour care and will never work again.
Since the accident the Claimant’s wife has been his principal carer but this role caused her health to deteriorate and placed extreme pressure on their family unit.
In the High Court HHJ Foster QC (sitting as a Deputy of the High Court) awarded the Claimant general damages of £140,000.
As regards future loss, the most significant award was for future care. The Judge concluded that the Claimant needed a professional 24 hour care regime which should start immediately. He awarded £114,630 p.a. the capital value of future care is £2.98 million. The question of whether that head of claim should be subject to Periodical Payments has been adjourned pending the Court of Appeal decision in Thompstone v. Tameside & Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust. The Judge also awarded the Claimant future loss of earnings and pension in the sum of £741, 045.
The told award was just under £4.7 million and this was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Paul Rose Q.C. acted on behalf of the Claimant, instructed by Paul Harrington of McCool Patterson Hemsi & Co.
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