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Future claims may be affected by ruling

Now retired Coventry policeman and former sailor, Patrick Burns was among the one thousand veterans who sought damages from the Ministry of Defence for compensation. The claim related to the initial tests of an atomic bomb conducted by Britain in the Pacific region during the 1950’s. Mr Burns alleged that the radiation he was exposed to caused suffering for example from cancer, skin defects and infertility.

The claimant now in his seventies, expressed his disappointment on the blocking of his claim for compensation, which follows years of legal negotiations. Ten test cases eventually were submitted to the Supreme Court, with nine of them being ruled “out of time”, a decision that is said, will effectively block hundreds of potential claims.

It is reported that Mr Burns of Binley, was seventeen years old when he swam in the sea off Christmas Island, following nuclear fallout. He alleged that he was not provided with any protective clothing or accessories, wearing only shorts and sandals as the bombs were dropped.

Reports show he was diagnosed in 2004 as having a large tumour between his stomach and spine, following which months of chemotherapy left him with diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and without teeth. Further reports indicate that at least three other servicemen from Warwickshire were involved in the class action, but it has to date, not been clarified as to whether any of their cases will be permitted to proceed.

Mr Burns stated that he considered he was used as a “guinea pig” and up to the present time has not received even an apology!