Brain Injuries man forced into work
A grandfather has been told he is fit to work despite suffering extensive brain trauma in a motorbike accident.
Zan Marseilles, 50, of Carshalton in London, suffered serious brain injuries in 2007 when he was involved in a crash during a motorbike event at the Nurburgring in Germany.
Mr Marseilles was left in a coma for three months following the crash, the impact of which was so severe that his motorcycle helmet split in half. When he regained consciousness he had various speech, balance and mobility issues, and had also lost the use of his right arm.
Despite this an assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare on behalf of the government has declared him fit to work. The decision was based on two factors – that Mr Marseilles can stand unaided for one minute, and that is speech is intelligible.
If forced to return to the workplace he will lose his Employment Support Allowance, which he has been using to cover the costs of day to day life. Before the accident, Mr Marseilles owned two businesses, but lost both following the crash. He now lives in council-owned accommodation.
Speaking to the Your Local Guardian website Mr Marseilles said: “I can only walk for short periods of time. They say I’m well enough to go back to work. "If I lose the Employment Support Allowance, I won’t have enough money to live monthly. I would love to work, I really would. I miss my old job.”
Commenting in support of Mr Marseilles and others left in the same position a spokesperson for Disabled People Against Cuts referenced the “ongoing fiasco of Atos assessments”, which they claim are “costing taxpayers £110 million a year but a further minimum of £60 million for the cost of tribunal hearings in which the majority of the wrong decisions made by Atos are overturned”.
The group is urging a return to previous fit for work assessments, which saw disabled people assessed by their GP or a health professional who was familiar with their condition or situation.
Local MP Tom Brake described Mr Marseille’s situation as “distressing”.
“It is frustrating that people are incorrectly assessed as fit for work, when they plainly aren’t and [it] can be deeply distressing for individuals. It is an issue I have raised on behalf of my constituents and will continue to do so,” he said.
Helen Grieves of Grieves Solicitors commented that the legal firm has seen a rise in the number of people unfairly forced back into the workplace since changes were made to tackle “benefit culture”.
“It is of course right for those who abuse the benefits system to be weeded out and made to contribute like everyone else, but we see so many cases in which people with genuinely debilitating and life changing conditions are left destitute by cuts, or worse still, made sicker by being forced back into a career they cannot physically or mentally deal with. Brain injuries are particularly life impacting and to us it appears ludicrous that someone who suffered injuries as serious as Mr Marseilles is deemed fit enough to return to the stresses of working life.”
Grieves Solicitors specialise in personal injury claims as well as injury at work and industrial disease claims. To find out more visit http://www.grieves-solicitors.co.uk/
- Contact Information
- Helen Grieves
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Grieves Solicitors
- (44) 01484 300 192
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