The publisher of the Daily Mail has been ordered to pay damages to a Spanish doctor after an article falsely accusing him of making life 'living hell' for a patient because of his poor grasp of English.
The April 2012 story, written by former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie, accused Dr Antonio Serrano of reporting a bus driver for excessive drinking because he had misunderstood what the man had told him during a consultation. As a result the patient, Kevin Jones, lost his licence and later his job.
Ronald Thwaites QC, who represented the Hastings GP, said in court that The Daily Mail article was inaccurate because medical records and blood tests supported the doctor’s diagnosis that the bus driver had an issue with alcohol misuse,
However as a result of Mckenzie’s piece Serrano was subject to abuse from other patients and resigned from his role.
After hearing from both sides the judge, Mr Justice Dingemans ruled that rather than having problems with English Serrano had a “sophisticated insight into English culture and English language.” Given the impact of the piece Dingemans ruled that Associated Newspapers should pay the doctor £45,000 in damages for the ostracism and hurt he had suffered.
The Drum contacted the Daily Mail for comment but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Mckenzie no longer writes for the Mail after ending his weekly column in July 2012.