An army paratrooper, who received multiple crippling injuries when he was blown from his Land Rover by an Afghan landmine, is to receive only half of his entitlement to personal injury compensation due to a Ministry of Defence cap on compensation payments.
Ben Parkinson (27) was on active duty with the 7th Parachute Regiment when the incident occurred near Basra in Afghanistan on September 12th 2006. The blast from the landmine left Ben in a coma for eleven weeks and suffering from brain damage which left him unable to speak. He also lost both his legs in the blast and sustained multiple fractures including a broken back.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) compensation rules at the time meant that Ben was only offered 152,150 pounds in compensation, but this was adjusted on review to account for Ben´s three main injuries and raised to the ceiling at the time of 285,000 pounds. Lawyers representing Ben´s family claimed that he received 37 different injuries in the explosion and that the proposed settlement from the MoD was inadequate.
New laws have now raised the limit to 570,000 pounds, but this still does not allow Ben to receive his full entitlement of personal injury compensation which the Government Veterans Agency calculated at 1,087,000 pounds. Furthermore, Ben´s family has also heard that Ben is to be discharged from the army on “medical grounds”, meaning that he will not be entitled to the same specialist rehabilitation treatment he has been receiving for the past eighteen months.
A spokesman for the MoD said: ‘We do not comment on personal circumstances of personnel or their families. However, we are committed to ensuring that those who have been wounded, injured or become sick while serving receive the care and support that they need during recovery and beyond.’