LAWFUEL – A typist working for the RAF who developed repetitive strain injury in her thumb is to receive almost half a million pounds from the Ministry of Defence.
The injury was received while typing computer data and the woman, believed to be in her 20s, started legal action against the MoD claiming that the pain in her thumb left her unable to work and she had become depressed.
The civilian’s award is almost 30 times the amount a serviceman would receive for the same injury and is eight times more than a soldier would receive for losing a leg.
The award of £484,000 in compensation and associated costs has been condemned by former soldiers, politicians and servicemen’s charities who fear it will severely damage morale.
Critics say it is an insult to the 2,626 British servicemen who have been injured fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defence analyst Major Charles Heyman said: “An award like this to a civilian who is never going to be in fear of her life drags down morale. It shows where the MoD’s priorities lie and those don’t appear to be with the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Jerome Church, secretary of the British Limbless Ex-servicemen’s Association, commented: “It would be laughable if it wasn’t so outrageous.”
An RAF spokesman said: “The MoD takes the welfare of our personnel, particularly those serving on operations, very seriously. Where we have a legal liability to pay compensation for a work related injury we do so.”