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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Gulf War Syndrome ruling reserved
Shaun Rusling
Shaun Rusling was about to get a pension from the MoD
The High Court has reserved judgment on a dispute over whether Gulf War Syndrome should be recognised officially in law.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to overturn a decision by a pensions tribunal which recognised former Parachute Regiment medic Shaun Rusling as suffering from the condition following the 1991 conflict.

Mr Rusling, from Hull, won his case in May 2002, opening the way for thousands of veterans to claim they also suffer from the Syndrome.

But the MoD is claiming the condition does not exist, despite many veterans reporting a wide range of debilitating symptoms.

The MoD recognises "symptoms and signs of ill-defined conditions" (SSIDC), which satisfied Mr Rusling's pension claim, and says the tribunal wrongly concerned itself with the "label" of Gulf War Syndrome.

War pension

After fighting a long battle to establish his entitlements, Mr Rusling, 44, now receives a 90% disablement war pension, based on the MoD's diagnosis of SSIDC.

But he has continued to fight for official recognition of Gulf War Syndrome, which sufferers say causes symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, fever and depression.

They claim it was caused, at least in part, by their being given a large number of injections and tablets when they arrived in the Gulf.

Philip Havers QC, for the MoD, told Mr Justice Newman it was accepted that Mr Rusling's disablement was attributable to his service in the Gulf.

The question of what label should be attached to his disability was irrelevant.

Mr Justice Newman is expected to give his judgment in about three weeks.


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