Former airmen sues MoD over working conditions


A former RAF Corporal from Carterton is suing the Ministry of Defence as he claims to have been left with a life threatening condition after being exposed to a cocktail of deadly chemicals during his service.

Michael Boyd, 53, has been diagnosed with incurable Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer which he says is linked to his work as a survival equipment technician.

Dad-of-four Michael first joined the RAF in Brize Norton in 1982 as a 17-year-old and served in the RAF for more than 10 years.

He claims that he and his team were exposed to carcinogenic chemicals daily for nearly three years in poorly ventilated work bays with little or no protective clothing.

Now up to 50 of his fellow former specialist engineers are suffering from similar cancers including throat and blood cancer as well as life threatening respiratory and skin disorders.

Others, including his closest work mate, have already died.

Now there are fears dozens of other ex RAF workers and engineers across the UK who spent time in similar manual roles could also be plagued by disease.

Mr Boyd said: “I just want someone to admit what happened.”

“I’m angry because if they had taken the proper precautions I wouldn’t be in this situation with my health.”

Michael Boyd, 53, has been diagnosed with incurable Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer.

“It is not just about me but all the lads – we were a tight bunch and it is no coincidence that so many of us are now seriously ill.”

“It was Victorian style conditions we were working in.

“There was no health and safety and there were chemicals swirling around all day long.

“The only thing we didn’t do with them was to drink them.”

Mr Boyd is taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence. He has lodged the case with the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and is awaiting a court date.

Military and industrial disease claims expert Phillip Gower – who has won his clients millions of pounds – said: “This is a very disturbing case involving a seriously ill man. Mr Boyd is quite rightly angry about how him and his team was exposed to these fumes which has now greatly affected his future. With so many ex RAF workers now ill or dead it can be no coincidence that the working conditions were so poor.”

An MOD spokesman said: “We are unable to offer comment on individual or ongoing legal cases however, can confirm that the health of our serving personnel and veterans continues to be of paramount importance and policies are in place governing the use of hazardous substances and these are strictly enforced.”

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