British Soldiers families to sue MoD over Iraq deaths

The families of soldiers killed in Iraq have been told they can sue the Ministry of Defence for negligence.

Legal action was brought by relatives of three men killed by roadside bombs while in Snatch Land Rovers and another killed while in a Challenger tank.

At least 37 UK soldiers have died in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan while travelling in the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover; its vulnerability has led some soldiers to call it the "mobile coffin".

The families of the three soldiers who died in the vehicles while on duty in Iraq want to make claims for damages under the Human Rights Act.

The Ministry of Defence had argued the claims should be struck out because the soldiers were not covered by the legislation once they had left their base. But the Supreme Court rejected this, concluding the soldiers were within the UK's jurisdiction at the time of their deaths and so were subject to human rights legislation.

The MoD had argued that there was "combat immunity" for troops in action and it was not "fair, just or reasonable" to impose a duty of care on the MoD when soldiers were on the battlefield.

The highest court in the land has now ruled the MoD, as employer, must accept that it owes a duty of care to properly equip service personnel who go to war.

The families' claims will now be able to proceed to trial to determine if the MoD owes damages. and