Ghanaian-born soldier sues British Defence Ministry for negligence

Gershon Rawlings Gershon Rawlings, Ghanaian-born British soldier

Sat, 1 Oct 2016 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Gershon Rawlings, a 33-year-old Ghanaian born soldier, has brought a legal suit against the British Defence Ministry for neglecting him at a training camp in Wales.

Mr Rawlings has filed a writ at the High Court in London demanding £200,000 from the ministry claiming he was forced to remain out in ‘very cold and wet’ conditions than other troops during a two-week exercise in that country.

According to his lawyers, he suffered “numbness and tingling in his feet” after being made to sleep outdoors in a waterproof poncho.

The writ indicates that the experience, in October 2013, left him with ‘disadvantages’ which have limited his chances of getting another job. When Mr Rawlings complained at the time of the exercise his Royal Artillery sergeant is alleged to have told him other soldiers were also cold and he should ‘man up’.

The case comes just months after a Gambia-born, Abdoulie Bojang launched a claim against the Defence Ministry, after suffering cold injuries in Banff, Canada, where temperatures dip to minus 22F (minus 30C).

Gershon Rawlings, who is now studying at university, says during his exercise in Sennybridge, mid-Wales, he was not given sufficient hot food and drinks ‘on a regular basis’ to ward off the cold.

The legal action claims the Army provided him with waterproof boots and standard issue gloves which did not allow for his ‘particular vulnerabilities’. The writ prepared for the claim says he was diagnosed with ‘non-freezing cold injuries’, or NFCIs, and placed on restricted duties.

The Defence Ministry has however admitted Mr Rawlings developed NFCIs but says he must prove how serious they are, and how they have damaged his prospects. But despite his diagnosis he was still required to parade, ‘required to work in open, cold garages’, and carry out guard duties in the open air.

Mr Rawlings’ legal team claims the Army’s failings have left their client ‘disadvantaged’ over future jobs and ended his military career. Photographs posted on Facebook of the ex-soldier wearing fatig

Source: www.ghanaweb.com