£200,000 damages to soldier left part deaf by battle noise

Judge Grahame Aldous QC
Judge Grahame Aldous QC

A soldier whose Army career was ruined when he went partially deaf as a result of battlefield noise has won almost £200,000 damages from the Ministry of Defence.

Osea Loki, 31, of Windward Avenue, Fleetwood, was medically discharged from the Army after suffering noise-induced hearing loss in his left ear.

Mr Loki, who was a Preston-based infantryman originally from Fiji, was left dependant on a hearing aid for normal day-to-day activities.

He also suffers from intrusive tinnitus and has to sleep with his television on to drown out the disturbing ringing in his ear.

Now, after a hearing at Central London County Court, Judge Grahame Aldous QC has awarded Mr Loki compensation of £191,881.

During the hearing, the MoD contested the value of Mr Loki’s claim.

Ruling on the case, Judge Aldous awarded damages for the impact his disability will have on his future employment prospects.

But the judge also said the loss to Mr Loki of a military career he was “justifiably proud” of should be marked in the payout.

He had enlisted while still in Fiji, following in the footsteps of an older brother who also served in the British Army, said the judge.

“I have no doubt that, for Mr Loki, a career in the Army was a significant step,” he said in his judgment.

“He came all the way from Fiji, having enlisted, to resettle himself and to make a new life, not just a life in the UK, but a life in the British Army.

“I do believe he joined the British Army because it meant a great deal to him.

“He loved the Army and he enjoyed being a squaddie.”

The court heard Mr Loki moved to the UK after enlisting in 2007, completed his training and served in Cyprus and Afghanistan.

The “abnormality” in his hearing did not come to light until he was tested in 2013, resulting in his downgrading from fitness for deployment.

Despite that, he was temporarily upgraded again and served another tour of duty in Afghanistan before he was medically discharged in 2016.

Giving evidence, Mr Loki told the court he had “loved” his job, but his motivation “went out the door” when he realised he was not fit to serve as an infantryman.