The Shrewsbury solicitor at the centre of the female RAF recruits case has said that their five year battle to receive compensation has highlighted an endemic problem at RAF Halton.
Jeremy Taylor, a partner with Wace Morgan Solicitors of Shrewsbury, represented three women who were recently awarded substantial damages after suffering injuries caused by high impact training in mixed squads with male colleagues. This contrasts with the Army and Navy where such training has been streamed for many years so as to be gender fair
The four recruits were trained at RAF Shawbury and RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
Personal injury specialist Mr Taylor says he has been surprised by the media frenzy surrounding the case, which has attracted widespread coverage, with false comparisons over payments for soldiers injured by enemy action.
He commented: “That is a completely different scheme replacing the War pension, which enables soldiers who are casualties of war to receive payments under the Armed Forces Compensation scheme. That is because the law says you cannot claim against the MoD for injury caused in battle.
“These committed and promising female recruits had their careers terminated when they were medically discharged as this was a career-ending injury caused by over-striding.
Service personnel should have the same rights, off the field of battle, as everyone else, and yet people seem to think that they should be treated as second class citizens.
“The RAF has a major problem with its female recruits suffering pelvic stress injuries because it has ignored its own guidelines on standard stride lengths and male and female recruits marching together. In fact, the MoD got rid of its medical expert when he ended up agreeing with us.
“We are very proud of the work Wace Morgan has done in successfully bringing this case to court as it has highlighted the way some female recruits were neglected in basic training.”
Mr Taylor said that Wace Morgan Solicitors was a leading member of Forces Law, a national organisation which represents members of the armed forces, and holds regular clinics at RAF Shawbury and Clive Barracks Tern Hilll. In addition the firm has represented members of the armed forces based in Germany and Cyprus and on active service in Afghanistan.
He added that said the publicity surrounding the recruits case had already prompted other people to come forward with similar issues.
The MoD said the RAF had now reviewed its recruit training practices to reduce the risk of injury to female recruits.
For further information please contact Jeremy Taylor on 01743 266 862