African Soldier SUES Army For ‘Failing To Protect’ Him From British Weather
A former soldier is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for around £150,000 after claiming that top bosses exposed him to the British winter weather without adequate protection from the elements.
Michael Asiamah told the High Court that he suffered a “cold-related” condition during various exercises which were held during the winter months, because the Army had failed to equip him with cold weather gear such as boots, gloves, socks and mittens.
The Ghanaian-born former trooper also claimed that his commanders exposed him to cold conditions despite knowing that Africans feel the cold more acutely than Britons.
Asiamah, 36, is claiming damages for alleged negligence after he reported suffered “nonfreezing cold injury” in 2016.
MoD Chiefs are planning to fight his claim.
However, lawyers acting for Mr Asiamah say that the manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain and Naseby Battlefield in Leicester during the winter months left him with numbness pain to his hands and feet.
Three years later and he says that he is still suffering from the effects of being exposed to the cold weather and has allegedly had to ditch his plans of becoming a PE instructor.
Mr Asiamah, who runs an evangelical church near his home in Tidworth, Wilts, says he risks aggravating his symptoms if he goes out in temperatures below 15C.
According to official court papers, Mr Asiamiah said he was exposed to 18 hours of freezing and windy conditions during Exercise Scorpion in March 2016 after being posted to Salisbury Plain with the Royal Tank Regiment.
He said that the MoD knew that people of black Caribbean and African origin are more susceptible to cold injuries.
His superiors apparently failed to warn him to take cold weather boots or socks whilst on exercise.
Asiamah maintains that when he reported his symptoms to the chain of command, then the patrol commander told him to carry on.
Mr Asiamah’s writ claims research by the Army Medical Corps in 2009 showed that black British Army soldiers were 30 times more likely than their white counterparts to develop cold injury.
Defence bosses say Mr Asiamah did have the appropriate kit for Salisbury Plain and that there was no need for a risk assessment on the battlefield tour.
An MoD spokesman told the Express.co.uk:
“It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing legal investigation.
“However, all service personnel are provided with the correct clothing, equipment and training.”
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