£200,000 awarded for cold injuries to the hands and feet

Compensation of £200,000 was awarded to a 27 year-old man for cold injuries to his hands and feet. The injuries were sustained while on active military service five years earlier.

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Case details

Injury details

The claimant was a member of the Royal Engineers. While on active service in Bosnia he was stranded in the mountains. There was heavy snow. He did not have any heavy-weather equipment.

It was two nights before he was rescued. The temperature was sub-freezing. He sheltered in a Land Rover vehicle.

The man suffered a non-freezing cold injury to his hands and feet. The nerves in his hands and feet were affected. Blood circulation was restricted by the nerve damage.

The injuries left the claimant with ongoing problems. Small variations in temperature made his symptoms worse. His hands and feet suffered recurring blistering. His condition was diagnosed as pompholyx, a type of eczema.

His hands and feet suffered bouts of pain and parasthesiae. He was unable to use his hands and feet frequently. In warm weather the claimant's feet and hands sweated profusely.

His condition was permanent but would not worsen. The injuries led to the man being discharged from the army. His civilian career was to be a carpenter. He was unable to pursue this to full capacity. The injuries prevented him from working outside or in cold conditions.

The claimant suffered substantial loss of earnings as a result of his condition.


It was alleged the defendant was negligent insofar as the claimant was stranded without sufficient protective equipment. The lack of equipment led to an unsafe working environment.

The claimant was exposed to severe cold for two nights. He suffered injury as a result to his hands and feet.

His symptoms were permanent. His army career was cut short and his ability to work in his chosen trade restricted.

His army career was cut short and his ability to work in his chosen trade restricted.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was admitted and the matter did not progress to a Court hearing.

Compensation was accepted of £200,000 by way of an out of Court settlement.

£25,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."

Past and future loss of earnings was awarded in the sum of £175,000.

Read more: armed forces injury compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher