A former Leicester soldier has been awarded £300,000 compensation after being left with permanent hearing loss following his years of service.
Thomas Borley enlisted in the Army in 2012 and served as an Armoured Cavalry soldier, a job which required him to spend long periods of time on firing ranges, taking part in training exercises and annual weapons tests.
However, after four years of service, the 33-year-old began to complain of issues with his hearing. Mr Borley was subsequently diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus, leading to him being medically discharged from The Army and putting an end to his ambition of becoming a Staff Sergeant.
As a result, he made a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), claiming that he consistently found his ear defenders were ill-fitting and as a consequence, didn’t provide the level of protection they should have.
However, after being awarded £6,000, he took further legal action.
Mr Borley has now reached a £300,000 out-of-court settlement with the Ministry of Defence. The funds will allow him to access the specialist therapies he requires and help him move forward with his life by funding training for a new job.
“After being diagnosed with hearing loss and losing my career, I didn’t know what to do for a long time, but I’ve had so much support to help me get my life back on track and I can finally begin to look to the future without uncertainty and worry,” he said of the payout, which was secured with the help of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
The Ministry of Defence denied liability.
“The health and wellbeing of our people is always our priority. We carefully assess noise levels and provide hearing protection when asking personnel to undertake duties in noisy environments,” said a spokesman.
“We have reached an out-of-court settlement with Mr Borley. It would be inappropriate to comment on the terms of the settlement.”
Carol Purang, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said: “While nothing can make up for what Tom has suffered, including losing his career, we’re pleased to have been able to help secure him settlement which will allow him to move forward with his life as best he can.”