Philip Somarakis was mentioned in a Sunday Times article concerning one of his cases. The client in question, had voluntarily given up her driving licence after she suffered a mini-stroke. However, she was forced to appeal to her local Magistrates Court after the DVLA persistently refused to give her driving licence back on the grounds she was still unfit to drive.
Eventually this was considered by the Parliamentary Ombudsman who found in her favour and ruled that there had been systemic failings with DVLA. The Ombudsman held that there had been “unreasonable delays”, “unnecessary distress” and “apparently destroyed evidence”. The client was awarded nearly £24,000 by the Ombudsman for stress, isolation and loss of earnings. The Ombudsman also ordered the DVLA to pay her legal costs back. The licence was finally returned to her earlier this year, seven years after she gave it up.
This is the latest in a series of complaints regarding the DVLA’s fitness-to-drive assessments, all of which have been upheld. It is understood that the Ombudsman’s full review, soon to be published, will demand wider changes in the system.
Philip Somarakis is considered to be the leading lawyer in Driving Licence Medical Appeals.