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Judges dismisses claim of paraplegic former DND staffer from 1990s Arctic ordeal

OTTAWA — The case of a former civilian defence employee, left as a paraplegic by a horrific military transport crash in the Arctic, has been dismissed by a Federal Court judge.

Bob Thomson, whose 1991 ordeal was made into a movie over 20 years ago, had pleaded with Veterans Affairs and its appeal body to be treated on par with those in uniform.

Justice Denis Gascon, in a written decision last week, says he sympathizes with the former manager, but until Parliament changes the law Thomson remains ineligible for the same benefits as military survivors of the same crash.

Thomson survived the Oct. 30, 1991 crash of C-130 Hercules in the Northwest Territories, but was left paralysed and after spending 30 hours exposed to the elements before rescue, he suffered multiple amputations because of frostbite.

He was compensated for his injuries under the Flying Accidents Compensation Regulations, but denied entitlement to a stipend known as the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance, which is given to military members.

Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board both denied his claim and now the Federal Court has turned him down.

The Canadian Press

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