A mentally handicapped man embroiled in a fight with Maryland authorities filed suit yesterday to regain his driver's license, which state officials suspended because he refused to submit medical information about his ability to drive a car.
The suit was filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court by Michael Henry Epstein, 28, a federal government office worker. Epstein was cleared of blame after an automobile accident last spring in which a 15-year-old boy darted in front of his car and was critically injured.
State officials began an inquiry into the accident after the investigating police officer wrote that Epstein "appeared to be mildly mentally retarded," and suggested Epstein be reexamined for his fitness to drive.
In court papers, attorneys Jayson Amster and Victor Glasberg contend that forcing Epstein to be reexamined or submit to a medical review amounts to a "victimization of [him] because of his handicap."
A spokesman for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, which is named in the suit, could not be reached for comment.
Epstein also is challenging the state action through administrative procedures.
The state agency ordered Epstein last June to submit the names of doctors it could interview about his ability to drive. When Epstein failed to submit the names by last Friday, his license was suspended. His attorneys have challenged the validity of those hearings, since Epstein has never been charged with a crime, and has had an unblemished driving record for more than two years.