Donns away win against US Army in Atlanta case

Manchester law firm Donns has played a part in the first successful action for compensation brought by a British soldier against the US military.

The case, which took place in Atlanta, saw a Donns partner, under the unusual title of English Co-Counsel, sitting on the counsel bench.

Partner Hilary Meredith was acting on behalf of the Whitley family from York, whose son, a Lieutenant in the British Army, was killed in 1993, in a coach accident in Atlanta.

The coach and driver were supplied by the US Army, and it was later discovered that the driver had been drinking and had a record of drug offences.

The plaintiffs convinced the court that the British officers on the bus were there in a wholly civilian capacity. They were in Atlanta as part of a rugby tour.

In the US, no compensation is given to military personnel for injuries sustained while on duty.

Meredith said: “We are overjoyed with the result, and we can now press ahead with claims for the other 15 men who were injured on the same bus.”