21st June 2021
Richard Boyle, instructed by Sevilay Saitoglu of the Government Legal Department, represented the Ministry of Defence in a three day multi-track trial before HHJ Sephton QC. The Claimant suffered from PTSD as a result of traumatic events in Afghanistan but was not diagnosed until three years after his return from the Tour. He stated that he had complained to his Chain of Command about symptoms of PTSD on return from the Tour, however he was not referred to a Medical Officer at that time. He claimed that the resulting delay in diagnosis had exacerbated his condition and sought damages of over £300,000.
The judge found that the Claimant had complained about symptoms of PTSD to the Chain of Command but the Chain of Command’s response had been appropriate, advising the Claimant that such symptoms normally settle after a Tour and that he should seek medical attention if they continue. In addition, the Judge concluded that the Claimant had suffered from “delayed-onset” PTSD which, even if considered by a clinician, would not have led to treatment until around the time that it was diagnosed.