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Young army recruit death during military training may cast doubts over MOD’s duty of care

The unfortunate news of the death of a 21 year old Blackburn woman who died during basic military training in Surrey, is sadly one of a string of similar incidents in recent months. It is not known at this early stage whether the cause of death was of natural causes.

An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of death which follows at least three similar fatalities during military training in the past three months. In September, the death of a 22 year old British soldier who drowned during a training exercise in Austria was reported. An inquest found that he had previously failed the Ministry of Defence’s swim test and should not have been permitted to participate in the white water rafting exercise.

In July, three British soldiers aged 34, 24 and 34 died as a result of ‘gross failures’ by one of the military’s elite units according to the inquest into their deaths which occurred while the men were taking part in a 26 mile endurance march in Wales.

Just a month prior to this, a 30 year old Royal Marine trainee collapsed during a 30 mile march in Devon which formed part of a 32 week Royal Marine commando course. News of his death was announced as an inquest opened into the death of three trainees who lost their lives while training in high temperatures in Wales in 2013.

According to the Ministry of Defence’s own reports, 125 personnel have died during training or exercise between 1st January 2000 and 18th July 2015.

As is the case with every employer, the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care to ensure the safety of its employees with risk assessments carried out and strict safety rules in place. It is evident however, that preventable fatalities continue outside of combat.

If investigations into the latest incident reveal that the Ministry of Defence has failed to meet its own safety checks and standards, a claim for negligence may be pursued by the young recruit’s family.

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by an accident during military training or exercise and believe that this may be as a result of negligence on the part of the Ministry of Defence, contact one of our experienced personal injury specialists.

Our personal injury lawyers will always advise what is best for you, contact a member of our team on 0161 832 6972 or email a summary of your claim, with your contact details, to

What can you do if you have been let down by a personal injury solicitor or claims management company?

If you have been let down through inadequate or improper conduct from a personal injury solicitor or claims management company and have lost out financially as a result, you may be entitled to make a professional negligence claim. Here’s a guide with more information on how to do this.

Read our ‘guide to professional negligence claims for personal injury victims’
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