The family of Errol Graham, the claimant who starved to death after his ESA was stopped, have begun legal action against the DWP to try to protect other vulnerable claimants.
Their first step towards a judicial review is a letter before action. This argues that the DWP’s procedures and the decisions taken in Errol’s case were unlawful.
The family are arguing that the decision to stop Errol’s benefits after he failed to attend a work capability assessment was unlawful on three grounds:
1. A breach of the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
2. The decision was unlawful under public law for a number of reasons, including failure to make reasonable enquiries into Errol’s disability and the needs arising from it before deciding to terminate his benefits.
3. The decision was a breach of Errol’s human rights, including the right to life.
The family are also arguing that the DWP are in breach of human rights law and common law because of a failure to independently and effectively investigate Errol’s death.
In a statement, Errol’s family said:
“The government owes it to Errol, his family and the country to explain why the DWP has repeatedly failed to learn from these tragedies over many years. In Errol’s memory I am determined to fight for change so that no more families have to live through the horror we have.”