, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It must be great to be so rich you think you can buy justice.

Take government-contract outsourcing firm Capita, that (among other things) conducts health assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the main disability benefit, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The company was ordered to pay £10,000 in damages following the death of PIP claimant Victoria Smith after it recommended that her benefit claim should be refused.

Ms Smith suffered from agoraphobia and fibromyalgia, and died of a brain haemorrhage in July last year after a worsening of these conditions. The assessment had taken place in March, four months previously.

While the decision over whether someone receives the benefit is made by a DWP official, Capita’s assessment of how a person’s disability affects their life is a crucial part of the process.

The week after Ms Smith’s death, a social security tribunal decided she had been eligible for PIP. Mother Susan Kemlo took legal action against the company for maladministration – that it had made inaccurate statements – and was awarded £10,000.

Now the firm is taking the case back to court, hoping the judgement will be set aside.

It says problems with its internal email system mean it never had a chance to defend itself.

And court papers suggest that the firm is bringing this costly court action, not for justice, but to offset the reputational damage it has suffered.

In those papers, the company states: “Capita has been on the receiving end of significant negative press which suggests that it has been held liable following a successful claim by the claimant,” it says.

“This causes significant reputational damage to Capita’s business.”

Never mind the merits of the case; it seems to me that Capita is trying to overturn the judgement because it can afford to.

Put the shoe on the other foot; if Mrs Kemlo had lost, would she have the cash to appeal against the decision?

This is about corporate pride, money, and a bid to buy justice.

Source: Capita seeks to reverse ‘reputational damage’ after death of claimant – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: