July 12, 2012

Judge gives daughter of soldier killed in Iraq right to sue MOD for compensation

The 10 year old daughter of a soldier killed in Iraq has won the right to sue the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for compensation after her father was killed travelling in a Snatch Land Rover.

Private Lee Ellis, 23, died in February 2006 when his lightly-armoured Snatch Land Rover was blown up by a road-side bomb. The controversial Snatch vehicles are no longer used by the MOD in active war zones after they attracted significant criticism from soldiers, army top brass and the families of soldiers killed in action, for being too poorly protected. At least 37 servicemen and women have been killed whilst travelling in the Snatch vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Judge Owen said 10 year old Courtney Ellis could make a compensation claim against the Mod, on the grounds of negligence, for the loss of her father as she could argue she had been financially dependent on him.

In two similar cases, families of two soldiers also killed by IEDs whilst travelling in Snatch Land Rovers failed in their separate attempts to make a military compensation claim against the MOD over the loss of right to life under the Human Rights Act.

Private Phillip Hewett, 21, from Staffordshire died in 2005 and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, 22, from Essex, died in 2007.

The families of the soldiers had argued that the MOD was liable as it failed to provide appropriate armoured vehicles which could have prevented the men from dying in the blasts, instead the MOD supplied lightly armoured vehicles which they knew offered little protection from road-side bombs.

The Judge held that the Human Rights Act did not apply as the soldiers died in Iraq and not in the UK or whilst on a British Army base. For information on making a military compensation claim, click here.

Holmes & Hills Solicitors specialise in military injury compensation claims and represent members (and ex-members) of the armed forces across the country in claiming armed forces compensation.

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