Wounded Soldier Suing for Higher Compensation Gets Support from Prince Harry

by Gopalan on  August 20, 2009 at 12:49 PM Celebrity Health News   - G J E 4
 Wounded Soldier Suing for Higher Compensation Gets Support from Prince Harry
Royal Marine Ben McBean, badly wounded in Afghanistan, is suing the UK government for higher compensation. He says Prince Harry is very solicitous about his condition.

The 22-year-soldier lost two limbs in a roadside bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan in February last year.

After the explosion, McBean was transported home on the same plane as Prince Harry.

The Prince, who had completed his own tour of duty in Afghanistan, said he was "humbled" by his bravery and described him as the real hero.

The Royal Marine was awarded £281,150 and a pension by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after suffering numerous injuries including the loss of his left arm and right leg.

He is since making a number of appeals and a tribunal court in Plymouth adjourned the case on Wednesday, ruling that the claims should all be heard together in a single two-day hearing at a later date.

Outside the court, the soldier said he was "frustrated" to have to fight the MoD for compensation

"I am just trying to fight for all of the other lads.

"We are not asking for loads of money, but we do need financial help."

Lawyer Mike Fordham, who represented Mne McBean at the hearing, said he was appealing against an award given to him in February for blast injuries and head injuries with memory loss and flashbacks.

He said he would also appeal a decision by the Ministry of Defence to reject claims for hearing loss in one ear, for MRSA, for groin injuries and for body shakes and lower back pain.

The court heard that Mne McBean will also be making a further claim in respect of groin injuries and insomnia.

He is also expected to argue that compensation claims for wounded personnel should be taken as a whole, and not in stages as separate claims.

However, he gratefully recalled some touching details of Prince Harry's concern for him.

The Prince promised him a pint of beer if he managed to climb a climbing wall during rehabilitation and went on buy him a whole crate.

The soldier said: "He often writes me a note of support....

His mother Joyce McDonald, from Plymouth, has previously said her son needed surgery to prevent his injuries from deteriorating.

His stepfather James Cockburn has described the compensation payments to injured service personnel as "a joke".

An MoD spokesman said the most seriously injured personnel are given an up-front, lump-sum payment and also receive a tax-free, index-linked monthly Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) for life.

He said: "Over the course of a lifetime, the GIP typically exceeds the amount given in the lump sum."

Amid growing public concern about the treatment of soldiers, sailors and airmen injured on the front line, The Daily Telegraph has launched a campaign to overhaul the way the Ministry of Defence compensates wounded service personnel.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme has regularly been criticised since its inception in April 2005. 

The newspaper is seeking to persuade the MoD to appoint an independent chairman to review the scheme, saying currently the procedures are way too complicated and unfair for those who fight for their nation.

Source: Medindia

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