The Armed Forces of Malta will pay €178,500 in compensation to the family of a soldier who died during a military exercise in 2009.
Matthew Psaila died during a night military drill at Chadwick Lakes. The gunner, who did not know how to swim, drowned while navigating an underwater tunnel during extremely cold weather.
A forensic pathologist later concluded that Psaila died from hypothermia.
The court heard how the AFM failed to implement sufficient safety measures and protocols on the day, including failing to test the route with the full equipment worn by the soldiers. Moreover, experts reported that not enough safety personnel were present and that the safety equipment provided was not up to standard.
It was also said that soldiers were not told to look out for one another and that no written report was given on the path to be taken. According to one officer, the Commander-In-Chief said that health and safety was not a priority when questioned about standards.
The AFM was found to be responsible for negligence and a lack of diligence in the soldier’s death and instructed to pay €178,500 in compensation to Psaila’s family.
Lawyer Michael Tanti Dougall represented Psaila’s family.
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