US airman receives almost �500,000 compensation

Rebecca Gough A US serviceman who suffered multiple injuries in a crash on a Suffolk road has been awarded $750, 000 compensation.

Rebecca Gough

A US serviceman who suffered multiple injuries in a crash on a Suffolk road has been awarded $750, 000 compensation.

Juan Feliciano-Diaz was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in 2006 when he was involved in an accident on the C624, Higham Road. He was driving his jeep in the direction of Tuddenham when he crashed with a Volkswagen Caravelle and suffered injuries to his elbow, abdomen, pelvis, and right leg.

Mr Feliciano-Diaz, 28, a former staff sergeant working in avionics, was treated at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, then the Lakenheath Medical Centre. Whilst his other injuries healed, his leg became a permanent problem and he was unable to return to work for a month, when he was limited to a desk job.

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The figure, which equates to just under �500,000, has allowed him to return to America and undergo further surgery.

Head of the personal injury team at Norfolk solicitors Kester Cunningham John, Ruth Booy , who represented Mr Feliciano-Diaz, said: “While a small proportion of his claim related to the injury itself, and a further portion to his medical treatment, the bulk of his settlement is in respect of lost earnings, the loss of his airforce pension and other benefits associated with being in the US military.

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“It is hoped that further treatment being recommended by his orthopaedic surgeon will soon be carried out in the US, brightening his future prospects”.

Mr Feliciano-Diaz was medically discharged from the US airforce on November, 2007 and remains unemployed.

Later that year, a review was carried out by the American airforce following a string of accidents which left two servicemen dead.

The first, on September 23, claimed the life of 26-year-old flight commander John Jacob Biram from RAF Lakenheath who was killed when his car crashed with a lorry in thick fog on the A1304 near Newmarket.

On October 6, RAF Mildenhall suffered the loss of airman Julious Hawkins, 24, who was killed after he drove the wrong way on the A14 at Bury St Edmunds and crashed with a van transporter.

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