A seriously injured soldier was awarded just £570,000 in personal injury compensation from the MoD, despite the permanent and life-changing severity of the injuries for which he filed his accident claim.
After Sergeant Rick Clements fell victim to an improvised explosive device whilst serving in Afghanistan, the resultant explosion maimed him for life. His gruesome injuries cost him both legs to the waist – and have effectively sterilised him as well. Yet with a maximum £570,000 award cap on personal injury claims set by the MoD, the ‘criminally low’ compensation he received has left the 31-year-old combat veteran with a payout that has been called disgracefully low.
Injury claims specialists have been highly critical of the low award figure, stating that the injured war hero could have received upwards of £4 million for his debilitating injuries if he had been a civilian instead of a soldier. Forces charities were likewise furious over Sergeant Clements’ compensation payout in comparison to those awarded to others.
Royal British Legion spokesman, Basha Hammond, stated that such a low payout is disgraceful and insulting to Sgt Clements service to his country, especially in light of the devastating injuries he suffered in the line of duty. Clements himself has remarked that he plans to challenge the payout.
The 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment sergeant also suspects that the Army may be attempting to downplay the irrevocable damage done to his reproductive organs in an effort to not allow it to put people off joining the military. However he is living proof that such a danger is indeed a possibility and that those interested in serving their country should be aware of the issue.
If someone had told him of such an eventuality before he had went to Afghanistan, Sgt Clements said, he would have taken steps to ensure he would have still been able to have children by visiting a sperm bank.
Now the only legacy he will have is a £2,000 a month pension for the rest of his life.