Litigation Recent Decisions 05/03/96

Soldier's claim for battle injury caused by negligence

Richard Mulcahy v Ministry of Defence (1996).

CA (Neill LJ, McCowan LJ and Sir Iain Glidewell) 21/2/96.

Summary: Crown forces are not liable for injury or damages sustained by any negligent action during battle conditions.

Appeal by the defendant against dismissal of its application to strike out the plaintiff's action on the basis that the claim as formulated disclosed no cause of action. The plaintiff was a soldier who served in the Gulf War and claimed that he was blown off his feet and injured when another soldier in the same howitzer team as the plaintiff, negligently fired the gun when the plaintiff had gone in front of it pursuant to an order from the gun commander to collect a jerrycan of water.