A Spanish doctor who says his professional reputation was blackened by a ‘xenophobic’ article in the Daily Mail by former columnist Kelvin MacKenzie (pictured right) is suing the paper’s publishers for up to £200,000.
Dr Jose Antonio Serrano Garcia was featured in an article by Mr MacKenzie in which he was criticised for his treatment of bus driver Kevin Jones.
Mr Jones had his driving licence taken away after Dr Serrano referred him to the DVLA over his alcohol consumption.
London’s High Court heard this week the article, headlined “A whole year of hell, thanks to a foreign doctor”, appeared in the Daily Mail in April 2012.
In it, Mr MacKenzie (pictured right) described how further tests revealed Mr Jones was not alcohol dependent and his licence was returned after a year.
The article also suggested that a ‘language barrier’ between doctor and patient resulted in a misdiagnosis.
Dr Serrano, 45, now seeks damages for libel from the paper’s publisher, Associated Newspapers Ltd, claiming his treatment in the article was ‘unfair, insulting, oppressive and dishonest’.
He says its publication in the Daily Mail caused him to lose confidence, which persuaded him to move from his practice at Little Ridge Surgery in St Leonards to a more junior role at a surgery in Bexhill.
Associated Newspapers is defending the claim, arguing the article was ‘true or substantially true’, as the doctor’s report to the DVLA was ‘inappropriate and unnecessary’.