[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 12:25 GMT
Man loses depleted uranium action
Richard David
Mr David's claim has been found to be unjustified
A former defence worker who claimed that his life was made a "living hell" by exposure to depleted uranium at a factory has lost his High Court action.

Richard David, 51, of Seaton, Devon, sued Normalair Garrett - now owned by Honeywell Aerospace - for compensation.

The company denied depleted uranium was ever used at the plant in Yeovil.

Mr Justice Walker sitting in London said that Mr David had not shown that he was exposed to depleted uranium at the time he was employed by the firm.

Mr David, who left work through ill health in July 1995, claimed that medical tests had revealed mutations to his DNA and damage to his chromosomes which could only have been caused by ionising radiation.

My conclusion that the claimant's case fails does not involve any aspersion upon his honesty
Mr Justice Walker
The former component fitter on fighter planes and bombers said he now suffered from respiratory problems, kidney defects, bowel conditions and painful joints.

He alleged that radiation from the uranium isotope had ruined his health, robbed him of the ability to earn a living and caused the collapse of his marriage and family life.

"The last nine years has been a living hell hand-to-mouth existence marked by many GP and hospital consultations for unusual and even very serious health problems," he said in court.

Mr Justice Walker however said he had failed to establish that there was or had been any depleted uranium in his body, and had been unable to demonstrate that his illness must have been caused by exposure to it.

"That being so, he has no basis on which to assert that the defendant used DU in his workplace," he said.

"My conclusion that the claimant's case fails does not involve any aspersion upon his honesty.

"It must also be recognised that the defendant, and its senior management, have over a period of years had hanging over them a charge that they allowed a highly dangerous material to contaminate one of their workers.

"For the reasons I have given, after examining all that can reasonably be said on behalf of the claimant, I conclude that on the basis of the evidence before me the charge made by the claimant against the defendant is unjustified," he said.

Uranium High Court battle resumes
04 Oct 05 |  Somerset
Court adjourns uranium claim case
10 Dec 04 |  Somerset
Defence worker's uranium claims
06 Dec 04 |  Somerset

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific