A Victim of Traumatic Brain Injury Silently Suffers Discrimination… Until Now

Zylo Marshall 2022 professional photo

Race. Gender. Religion. Sexual orientation. Factors such as these are typically the first that come to mind when discussing discrimination.

Without a doubt, discrimination is an ugly beast that exists on many fronts. However, a type of discrimination that is far more common than you could imagine, yet receives little to no attention, is the discrimination against those who suffer from a medical disability. Namely, traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Falsely labeling someone as incompetent; treating them as inferior; discounting them for their abilities; or outright exploiting them for personal gain – are all forms of discrimination.

Long-Term Effects of TBI Made Me the Victim of Crime

Hi. My name is Zylo Marshall. Long-term effects from a brain injury I suffered as an infant have left me the victim of theft, deception, corruption, and fraud. My life, title, career, prestige, and inheritance have been stripped from me at the hands of greed that sought to take advantage of my medical condition.

This is my story. First, I want to give an introduction to the topic of brain injury and how it can affect a person’s life. Then, I will share how people have taken advantage of and discriminated against me based on my medical condition. Please, join me as I lift the veil for the very first time to shed light on the ugly truth how someone’s life can be shattered because a stereotype of a disabled person.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury is a medical condition that can leave the victim with a cluster or myriad of effects. Those who suffer from long-term effects following a TBI, can often be left with mental issues that includes:

  • Frustration
  • Attention deficits
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Problems with concentration

How Does TBI Affect a Person’s Life?

Damage from a brain injury is highly individualized and will present differently for each person. People will vary in the following dimensions:

  • Severity of the injury sustained
  • Functions that have been affected
  • Rate and completeness of the physiological healing
  • How dysfunction affects the person’s life roles, values, and goals
  • Available resources to recover function

Each person relies on different parts of the brain for daily tasks and functions, so it is practically impossible to predict how each individual will be affected long term. The important point to keep in mind is that TBI can have a myriad of effects on the individual’s life – but this does not mean everyone with TBI is incompetent to make their own decisions. Certainly for some, this can be the case – but it’s not a constant across the board. Any person affected by TBI may have just one, a few, or a host of the possible effects.

Often times, the person affected by TBI will retain their feelings towards friends and family; believing what others say as fact and not fiction; long-term memories; world knowledge – and so forth – along with many other characteristics of the individual.

Why People Take Advantage or Discount Someone Because of a Brain Injury?

Abuse. Exploitation. Manipulation. Basic human rights eroded. People that suffer from long- term effects of brain injury are often victimized. But why?

Sufferers of brain injury are often stripped of their right to live safely, freely, and independently. While some cases end up this way because of severe long-term effects of a brain injury, this is not the typical scenario. Often this unjustified treatment is simply a result of exploitative and unethical actions by other people.

People that suffer from brain injuries are manipulated, abused, victimized and taken advantage of, often on multiple fronts. Unfortunately, if a predator is looking for a victim – people with brain injuries are easy targets – especially if cognitive challenges are present.

“Abuse of People with Acquired Brain Injury” is a frequent happening that is likened to elder abuse. Survivors are often convinced to share confidential information, leaving them open to crimes of identity theft and fraud. Advocates push for protection of people with brain injuries from greedy, dishonest, immoral, unethical people through implementation of laws, standards, and regulations imposed by our constitution.

Criminal Victimization has Me Facing Homelessness or Federal Prison

My life has never been easy. When I was eleven months old, I was in a car accident that resulted in permanent neurological brain damage. I was nine years old when my parents separated in 1984. At fourteen in 1989, I witnessed my stepfather murder my mother in a homicide. In 2010, I was disinherited from my grandfather’s estate. And now, in 2023, I face the possibility of homelessness and/or federal prison.

Exploitation of a Multi-Millionaire and His Grandson

This is my story. I am the grandson of Allan Haymes, who was a securities broker and dealer who amassed a fortune in Manhattan, New York from 1988 to 2010. During this time, he made over $50 million.

Starting in 2003, my grandfather began to suffer the effects of dementia due to Parkinson’s Disease. He was left vulnerable to abuse and financial exploitation at the hands of his daughter, my aunt, Lois Haymes starting in 2005.

Like my grandfather in his later years, I have always felt vulnerable. But despite the permanent brain damage I suffered, I have always strived to be a contributing member of society: I went to college; worked with Habitat For Humanity; got my real estate license; and eventually founded my own company, Code Violation Properties. I have always wanted to have a meaningful life. I do not want to be a burden on society that just collects social security while existing in the world.

My grandfather helped me enormously over the course of my life – especially after the death of my mother, his daughter, Denise Haymes. My father has always been deadbeat and only interested in how much money he could get from my trust fund. Like my aunt Lois, he wanted it all.

Disinherited From an Estate Because of My Medical Condition

Despite Coherent Mental State

On May 30, 2003, I was appointed the disabled beneficiary to my grandfather’s estate. My aunt Lois Haymes was not named a beneficiary in the May 2003 Will that my grandfather executed – on his own behalf with coherent cognition. On January 30, 2009, I was disinherited from my grandfather’s estate, and my aunt, Lois Haymes, assumed the role of sole beneficiary. During the creation of the 2009 will through the law firm Craig Donoff P.A., an estate planning law firm, my grandfather was not legally competent to execute a will as defined in a November 2005 videotaped deposition which was taken more than four years before 2009 will was executed.

The January 2009 Will was further supported under the direction of my aunt, Lois Haymes, through Shendell & Pollock, a liability law firm, NOT probate litigation law firm. Regardless of the fact it was not their area of law, they took the case anyway. However, they did a whole lot more than handle the case. Shendell & Pollock aided and abetted a forged will; violated court orders; helped my aunt hide assets; successfully dodged liability of forged documents which included false partnerships and a forged power of attorney.

The violation of a court order by Attorney Ken Pollock protected Attorney Matt Tornincasa for aiding and abetting a forged will. Furthermore, this action also protected my aunt from conviction of forgery of a will and from liability by the judge for embezzlement of funds, possible wire fraud, and submitting a false amount in my grandfather’s estate as great as $5 to $6 million.

While representing myself pro se after my attorney resigned in May of 2012, I took the deposition of attorney Craig Donoff, the co-representative to my grandfather’s estate. In that deposition, I asked Mr. Donoff, “ Why were you a participant in disinheriting a disabled person?” He responded by stating, “Because that is my job.”

Both Attorney Ken Pollock and Matthew Tornincasa through the law firm Shendell and Pollock followed that statement to a “T” by aiding and abetting a forged will and violating court orders to avoid trial.

Eleven days after the judge made a court order for a new trial, Ken Pollock filed a 52-page summary judgment. The reason why Ken Pollock filed a summary judgment was to protect attorney, Matthew Tornincasa, who aided and abetted a forged December 11, 2006 will which was produced to me eleven days before trial on April 15, 2014.

At trial on April 15, 2014, while again representing myself pro se, I had two grand mal seizures which caused the trial to be postponed until January 26, 2015.

Thereafter, I was able to verify through a signature expert that my aunt, Lois Haymes, forged the December 11, 2006 will, which further suggests the influence my aunt had on Craig Donoff, Ken Pollock, and Matthew Tornincasa for her own need for greed against me, a disabled beneficiary.

Because I am a person with a medically documented history that shows I was in car accident in 1976 that left me with a permanent disability with cognitive issues such as memory loss, thought process disruption, and difficulty with concentration – I was an easy target for exploitation. People such as Dr. Dean Edell and Sharon Johnson who were my trustees; my aunt Lois Haymes; the co-personal representative Attorney Craig Donoff through Craig Donoff

P.A. and Attorney’s Matthew Tornincasa and Ken Pollock through Shendell & Pollock all saw the situation and took advantage of a person with neurological brain damage.

Dr. Dean Edell, a Media Doctor, and Sharon Johnson, my trustees, used $100,000 of my trust money and wanted me to accept a settlement offer that included a 2008 trust of $75,000, and left the 2009 forged-will in place, which I did not accept. After the summary judgement was approved by the court, both Dr. Dean Edell and Sharon Johnson refused to help me go to trial through an appeal to the summary judgement based on the fact that my grandfather was legally incompetent to make his own decisions as defined in a November 2005 deposition. This deposition was taken more than 4 years before the execution of the January 2009 will and trust which specifically disinherits me from my grandfather’s estate. Further, Dr. Dean Edell and Sharon Johnson want to resign as my trustee and give me my trust money. Because I receive SSI, I have to either tell Social Security Administration that I receive SSI to have them cut my benefits or hide the assets while still receiving SSI and go to FEDERAL PRISON for fraud.

People with Disabilities Suffer the Same Injustices of Discrimination

While it’s uncomfortable for many to talk about, in society there is this unwritten “one to three second rule” in which a person is judged by a stereotype within the first moments of meeting someone. Just as:

  • African Americans can be seen in a certain way because of their history of slavery
  • Women are sometimes thought of as being “less than” their male counterparts, solely because of their gender
  • Muslims can be stereotyped as “terrorists” following the attack on September 11, 2001
  • People that do not conform to their typical gender stereotypes or have interest in those of the same sex are seen as different or morally-wrong

People that suffer from disabilities also face a lifelong challenge of being judged within one to three seconds of meeting a new person. Sadly, awareness is needed to end the cycle of people labeling someone on account of their disability.

The Constitution of the United States does not differentiate people- but defines all as being equal to one another. We all have the same wants and needs and are deserving of equality, justice, and respect. Help me bring awareness to the unjustified discrimination against people with disabilities by sharing my story.

You are more than welcome to call me at 305-814-5002 or email me at zylomarshall@gmail.com if you are interested in interviewing me, having me as a guest on your talk show, or having me on a news program, you are more than welcome to contact me.

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