A former soldier who suffered hearing loss and tinnitus following an explosion has been awarded £350,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence.
Vance Bacon-Sharratt, who served in the British Army’s Mercian Regiment, felt an instant reduction in his hearing, pain and tinnitus, particularly in his left ear, following an explosion at a firepower demonstration in 2016.
He left the Army in March 2018 as a result of his injury. He is now a driving instructor.
“It was extremely difficult to adapt my life around my diagnosis, which is why I felt like I had no option but to leave the Army, even though it was a career I’d always dreamed of,” Bacon-Sharratt said.
“Since then, I have gone through many ups and downs and to this day I still struggle to come to terms with what’s happened.”
After securing the out-of-court settlement from the Ministry of Defence, his solicitor Chelsea Towner, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The last few years have been incredibly difficult for Vance, firstly coming to terms with his diagnosis and then making the tough decision to leave behind a career he loved.
“All employers have a duty of care to protect their employees and through our work, we come across too many people who have sustained injury while serving in the Army. Hearing loss and tinnitus are serious health issues, the psychological and physical effects of which should never be downplayed.
“While nothing will make up for what Vance has suffered, we’re pleased to have been able to help secure him settlement which will hopefully allow him to move forward with his life as best he can.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The health and wellbeing of our people is always our priority. We carefully assess noise levels and provide hearing protection when asking personnel to undertake duties in noisy environments.
“We have reached an out-of-court settlement with Mr Bacon-Sharratt. It would be inappropriate to comment on the terms of the settlement.”