After it was found that his hearing suffered irreparable damage during shooting practice, one former soldier from Lancashire has received a £40,000 personal injury compensation award.
Morecambe native Liam Bell, aged twenty, had been given instructions by his Section Commander to participate in a training exercise that involved the operation and use of hand grenades and fully automatic machine guns, according to accident claim experts familiar with the case. However, because of a safety equipment shortage, Mr Bell was only provided with a single ear plug.
The former soldier immediately knew that his ability to hear had been affected the moment the other soldiers opened fire, recounts his personal injury claims. Mr Bell described the noise as unbearably and painfully loud, according to an article appearing in the Lancashire Evening Post newspaper.
The former infrantryman now suffers from a condition referred to as tinnitus, his symptoms manifesting themselves usually as a ringing or buzzing sound within his ears. Tinnitus sufferers can experience sleeping problems and great discomfort from the disorder, experts say.
The Ministry of Defence recently came to a settlement outside of court with Mr Bell in which the former soldier would receive £40,000 worth of personal injury compensation for his hearing loss.
The situation was completely unfair, according to the words of a spokesperson, speaking on behalf of Mr Bell’s team of legal advisers. The fact that young men and young women who are willing to sacrifice themselves for their country’s safety are not adequately being cared for through the issue of proper safety equipment was deplorable said the spokesperson.
According to a MOD spokesman, front-line fighting troops scheduled to be deployed to serve in such locations as Afghanistan now have access to a cutting edge, innovative protection system designed to provide hearing protection through a personalised interface.