NY Athletic Commission to be sued by family of injured boxer

Friday February 28, 2014

Just hours after a heavyweight boxer fought in a match at New York’s Madison Square Garden, he went into a coma. The boxer’s family is planning to file a $100 million lawsuit directed against the New York State athletic commission, claiming the boxer was a victim of negligence and medical malpractice.

Officials said that the 32-year-old fighter told the New York State Athletic Commission physicians that his head hurt. They said the doctors gave him a neurological test which he passed, stitched up a cut above his left eye and told him he broke his nose. The doctors also advised him to have his injuries examined by a doctor within a couple of days after he returned to his home in Florida, officials said.

According to reports, an athletic inspector assigned to watch over the fighter that night, noticed blood in the man’s urine and told the fighter’s handlers to take him to the hospital. This was after the Commission doctors cleared the fighter. They did not know that the fighter’s brain had started bleeding.

Nothing was done about his condition until the fighter went to his dressing room with his family and he told them he felt as if he was going to pass out. They took him outside the arena to get a taxi where he vomited. He was given a CT scan at the hospital which showed bleeding on the brain and was rushed into emergency brain surgery. Doctors found that he suffered several strokes.

After weeks in the hospital, the boxer was transported to a rehabilitation facility, where he now responds to simple commands, but may never talk or walk again.

Experts explained that the state could be held liable for the boxer’s situation if there is a legal finding that the boxer was not handled appropriately by the state-employed doctors and others who supervised the boxing match. In addition, the claim cited that inadequate treatment and medical care were also factors that affected his condition.

Source:  ESPN, “Injured boxer’s family plans lawsuit” William Weinbaum and John Barr, Feb. 21, 2014

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