Relatives win Iraq damages case

Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq secured a victory in the latest round of a compensation fight today when the Court of Appeal said they could pursue damages claims against the Government.

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Relatives to pursue claims of negligence against MoD

Challenger 2 tanks from Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 7th Armoured Brigade in Iraq Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Relatives of soldiers who were killed in Iraq are trying to prove that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) showed negligence by not providing adequate equipment or training.

One of the families involved in the case is that of Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Cpl Allbutt was killed in March 2003 after a Challenger 2 tank was hit by another Challenger 2 tank in a "friendly fire" incident.

Two other soldiers - Dan Twiddy, of Stamford, Lincolnshire and Andy Julien, of Bolton, Greater Manchester - were badly hurt in the incident.

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Relatives of Iraq soldiers win right to seek compensation

Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq secured a victory in the latest round of a compensation fight today when the Court of Appeal said they could pursue damages claims against the Government.

The relatives say the Ministry of Defence (MoD) failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives and should pay compensation.

MoD bosses say decisions about battlefield equipment are for politicians and military commanders.

Lawyer: MoD's position 'morally and legally indefensible'

Shubhaa Srinivasan, a partner with law firm Leigh Day & Co, which is representing the family of Cpl Allbutt and the surviving servicemen, said:

We await the verdict having fought for many years to get these claims to court.

We maintain that the MoD's position has been morally and legally indefensible, as they owe a duty of care to those who fight on behalf of this country.

British troops should at the very least have adequate equipment and training, ranging from the very basic such as a GPS devices, to sophisticated satellite tracker systems, which the Americans had available to them.

It seems incredible that it was often left up to soldiers themselves to buy this equipment as they felt compelled to, so as to better protect their own lives and the lives of those they were responsible for.

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Judges to deliver Iraq damages decision

Appeal judges are due to announce a decision on whether relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq can pursue damages claims against the Government.

The Court of Appeal announcement follows a ruling in June 2011 by a High Court judge, who said relatives could pursue claims on negligence grounds - but not under human rights legislation.

Three appeal judges in London will give their decision on a challenge by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) against Mr Justice Owen's ruling on negligence claims - and on a challenge by relatives against his findings on the human rights issue.

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