Former soldier Barney Tipping, 27, has been awarded £275,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after suffering severe shock during a training exercise in Kenya.
Mr. Tipping was one of the 26 soldiers who suffered from extreme heat exhaustion and dehydration after marching in severely high temperatures in March 2007.
Against army guidelines Mr. Tipping was asked to remove his top and a bucket of cold water was thrown over him, as a result of the shock he was airlifted to Nairobi before being evacuated to the UK for treatment.
In 2008 Mr. Tipping began experiencing photosensitivity, eye pain, double vision, exhaustion and severe joint pain.
After a short period recovering from his injuries Mr. Tipping was then sent to Afghanistan by the MoD however he returned home as he was unable to carry out his duties due to his illness.
Mr. Tipping was medically discharged from the army in October 2009. In 2010 the symptoms he was suffering from were finally diagnosed as Fibromyalgia, a rheumatic condition that causes persistent pain.
During the 6 year long compensation battle Mr. Tipping’s legal team explained that the army accused him of “exaggerating” and “revelling in his sick role”.
Alongside suffering from a rheumatic condition the former soldier also experiences symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and post-traumatic distress disorder.
During the investigation the armed forces solicitors acting on behalf of Mr. Tipping also found that soldiers were made to march and undertake attack exercises “around the clock” despite the increasingly high temperatures of 40C.
No briefing was given to soldiers prior to the March about the risks of heat injuries during the training exercise, it was also explained that there was limited water supply in the days leading up to the intense training scheme.
Mr. Tipping, of Whitecroft Gloucestershire, spoke of his anger over the way he was treated by the MoD: “I’m very angry about how the Army has treated me. It’s not just not believing me and dismissing my claims, it’s about how they have made me out to be a liar. They treated me like I was faking it and trying to get an easy ride. It was humiliating.”
The MoD also issued a statement about Mr. Tipping’s case: “We regret that Mr Tipping feels that the Department has been unsympathetic in dealing with his claim and this was certainly not our intention.
“We have a responsibility to satisfy ourselves that claims for injury or illness are justified before large sums of taxpayers’ money are paid out. We are pleased that the case has now been settled on terms satisfactory to Mr Tipping and wish him well for the future.”