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More success for Porton Down claimants

200 ex-servicemen have received compensation following tests

Group of Porton Down veterans at Leigh Day offices

15 September 2010

Over the last four years, Leigh Day & Co has assisted over 500 British former servicemen to obtain compensation for their participation in experiments conducted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the Chemical Defence establishment at Porton Down, Wiltshire from the 1940s-1980s.  

The veterans state that they were not informed about the nature of the chemical agents to which they were subjected before participating in the experiments, nor the risks associated with them.   Many believed they were assisting in the quest to find a cure for the common cold.  It has only been over the last decade that the veterans have learned of the chemical agents to which they have been exposed. The Official Secrets Act prevented veterans from disclosing the adverse effects of exposure. Many veterans only recently became aware of the chemicals to which they had actually been subjected to, these included nerve agents, such as Sarin gas, and hallucinogens, such as LSD.

On 31 January 2008, in conjunction with Kent firm Thomson Snell & Passmore, Leigh Day & Co obtained a settlement of £3 million which was split between 359 veterans. In addition, an apology was issued to all servicemen involved in these experiments by the Secretary of State for Defence in the House of Commons.

A large number of servicemen did not receive compensation in the first tranche of claims, and the MoD subsequently agreed to consider additional claims notified to them by July 2008. Since this deadline, Leigh Day & Co has obtained compensation for approximately 200 additional Porton Down veterans.

“I would like to express my thanks to you and your colleagues in pursuit of this claim. Throughout the case I have been kept informed and my queries have been dealt with courteously and professionally. After 58 years I am pleased to see closure.” Mr Buswell
“I would particularly like to thank you for the very professional and speedy way in which you dealt with the matter. My faith in the legal profession has gone up leaps and bounds.”  Mr Godwin
“I must say how grateful I am to you all at Leigh Day & Co for your persistence and successfully completing my claim” Mr Patrick

For more information please contact partner Gene Matthews on 020 7650 120

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.


Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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