Snatch Landrover cases back to Court

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Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence are appealing the judgment of Mr Justice Owen who on 30 May 2011 found that the MOD had a duty to provide its troops with vehicles which were suitable for the kind of warfare they were or were expected to be engaged in. This case highlights procurement and policy issues within the MOD and a Court of Appeal decision for the families could pave the way for many more soldiers killed or seriously injured as a result of substandard kit and/or inadequate pre deployment training bringing successful claims in negligence against the MOD.
 
Master of the rolls Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Moses, and Lord Justice Rimer are also hearing the case of Corporal Stephen Albutt, killed in a blue on blue (friendly fire) incident just a few days after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  His Challenger 2 Tank was shot upon by another British Challenger 2 Tank.  It was found that neither tank had on board a fixed tracking device which would have identified to crews the location of NATO alliance vehicles.   Again the MOD has argued that a duty of care cannot arise in these instances.
 
We should be reminded of the words of of Major Sebastian Morely, who resigned his commission in 2009 after four of his soldiers, including Cpl Sarah Bryant, were killed when their Snatch Landrover hit a mine in June 2009.  He was reported to have said:
 
"I had to resign. I had warned them (the MoD) time and time again that there were going to be needless deaths if we were not given the right equipment, and they ignored this advice... there is blood on their hands."


Grant Evatt

Associate - Personal Injury team









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