Another One Let Down

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Another One Let Down

Post by Guest on Mon 24 Mar 2008, 12:15 pm

A Royal Marine who lost both legs and an arm in a Taliban landmine explosion has been told he is not entitled to the full compensation package offered to injured troops.

Mark Ormrod with fiancée Becky Hayes. He proposed after regaining consciousness

Mark Ormrod, of 40 Commando, has spent the past three months in intensive care and rehabilitation after being blown up while on foot patrol in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, he has been offered £214,000 in compensation, rather than the maximum Ministry of Defence package of £285,000.

The 24-year-old is appealing against the decision but wants to stay with the Marines.

He said: "Obviously I can't go on the front line, but there are jobs I could do involving admin. As long as I can stay with the lads - it's like a family."

He is learning to walk again using prosthetic limbs, works out for three hours every day in the gym and will return soon to his home in Plymouth.

His case has attracted widespread sympathy from the city's residents, who are angry that he has not been handed the full compensation.

The MOD is fitting out the Marine's house, where he lives with his fiancée, Becky, and their three-year-old daughter, Kezia-Mai, to meet his new needs. But Andrew Buchan, of the law firm Irwin Mitchell, which specialises in compensation claims for soldiers, said he was "amazed" that the Marine did not automatically qualify for the maximum amount.

He said: "It's not a question of looking at their individual injuries, but the care and the support they will need over the years.

"The MOD will say he gets a guaranteed income as well, but that's for loss of earnings based on his rank now, not what he could be in 10 years' time."

A decision on his appeal is expected soon but some legal experts suggest he is unlikely to succeed as the MOD makes graded payments according to a soldier's three most serious injuries.

A spokesman for Thompsons, the personal injury lawyers, said: "While it seems incredibly unfair in comparison with civil claims for injury, that's the way the system works. There have been quite a lot of cases of injured soldiers receiving tiny amounts compared with civilian payouts."

A spokesman for the MOD said he was unable to comment on individual cases, but added that the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provided an immediate lump sum payment.

Those with more severe injuries were eligible for an extra tax-free, index-linked monthly payment, which, he said, could amount to several hundreds of thousands of pounds over a lifetime.

The Marine was deployed to Afghanistan last October and stationed with 40 Commando at Forward Operating Base Robinson in southern Helmand province.

He was on a morning patrol with 11 other Marines when he stepped on the mine, which was strapped to a Chinese 107 rocket. Both devices were covered by sand and mud after heavy rainfall.

He was flown by helicopter to a local Army medical base, where he received 28 pints of blood. He was later transferred to Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham.

The Marine, who underwent five operations, proposed to his girlfriend as soon as he regained consciousness after surgery on Dec 28.

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