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8million payout for Royal Marine

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

8million payout for Royal Marine thumbnailPhillip Eaglesham contracted Q fever in 2010.

A ROYAL Marine veteran from Dungannon who caught a serious illness while serving in Afghanistan, can expect to receive around 8million in compensation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), his legal team has estimated.

Phillip Eaglesham 35, from Somerset, contracted Q fever in 2010. He caught the disease while on tour with Taunton-based 40 Commando and became unwell as he travelled back to the UK.

Cpl Eaglesham claimed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) did not do enough to prevent him developing the disease.

Cpl Eaglesham won his case when a High Court Judge refused to give the MoD more time to submit its defence.

Mrs Justice Andrews awarded the native of Dungannon an outright victory at the High Court in London on Thursday.

And the Judge blasted the MoD for the delays that increased the suffering of 34-year-old Cpl Eaglesham.

Cpl Eaglesham sued the MoD for alleged negligence in his medical treatment.

The judge said she was "unimpressed by the litany of excuses" put forward by the MoD for delays that had blighted the case.

And Mrs Justice Andrews said the MoD's failure to comply with court orders requiring prompt disclosure of evidence was "substantial and serious".

She said: "Even though this was not a case of a deliberate flouting of a court order, it is not an appropriate case in which to grant the defendant any further indulgence."

Phillip, who took part in the Rio Paralympics, was a Corporal in the Royal Marines and serving in Afghanistan when he contracted Q fever, also known as "Helmand fever", in October 2010.

The virus leads to physical debilitation and in extreme cases it can cause irreparable damage to vital organs.

He was flown back to the UK via a medical "decompression" base in Cyprus. But upon his return, his condition deteriorated resulting in symptoms of complete exhaustion.

The dad of three, who became weak and lethargic and now uses a wheelchair, told the court that he was "'so weak he could barely move" and described the act of brushing his teeth as "shattering".

So debilitating is the disease that Cpl Eaglesham is unable to lift a coffee cup.

His QC, Theo Huckle QC, told the court Cpl Eaglesham's exposure to the disease had led to chronic fatigue syndrome, also resulting in "severe depression".

Mr Huckle QC earlier stated that it was the MoD to blame for the Corporal's condition, as they failed to treat him with an antibiotic known as Doxycycline, either during his tour, or when he fell ill.

His claims have been valued by his lawyers "in the order of 6million to 8 million".

The claim for compensation is to fund future care, house adaptations and to cover Cpl Eaglesham's inability to work.

The amount will be decided at a future hearing.

Speaking after the judgement Cpl Eaglesham said: "It would be amazing have a family life again rather than my wife being my full time carer."

The MoD said the requested delay was because it had found more documents than first thought; there was a shortage of resources and there were concerns over national security.

It has no automatic right of appeal, but can ask for a hearing to secure one.

Last week the Courier featured a story on Cpl Eaglesham, who has invented a wheelchair capable of bringing the disabled to a social height.

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