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Boxer’s family files lawsuit after traumatic brain injury

New Orleans is home to many large sporting events, which include violent games such as boxing and football. The athletes in these sports often require medical supervision before and after their competitions.

The family of a professional heavyweight boxer has filed suit 10 months after he was battered in a losing fight at Madison Square Garden. The 33-year-old man, a native of Russia, suffered brain injuries during the hotly contested 10-round fight.

The lawsuit, which alleges that medical malpractice was the cause of the fighter’s permanent brain damage, names a number of parties, including athletic commission doctors, the referee for the fight, the boxing commission inspector, the venue and the promoter.

After making it through to the end of the match, the bruised and bleeding boxer was sent to a hospital 25 blocks from the venue by taxi, rather than ambulance. Misdiagnosis of injuries by commission doctors is alleged in the suit. 

They visited him in the dressing room after the fight, sewed up a cut above his eye, and told him to get further medical attention in the next couple of days. They did not recognize the boxer’s report of a headache as a sign of possible traumatic brain injury.

It was not until three hours after the end of the fight that the boxer ended up in surgery at the hospital. Doctors there removed a blood clot, probably saving his life. The clot caused him to suffer more than one stroke and his brain injuries left him in a coma for several weeks.

Doctors caring for the fighter say he may never regain the ability to speak or walk. The time lost in getting the brain-injured man proper medical care may have made the difference between permanent disability and recovery.

The family’s attorney expressed his frustrations with the situations stating, “These doctors screwed up beyond belief.” Experienced legal representation may help ease the financial burden of the professional athlete’s traumatic brain injury, which will end his career.

Source: ESPN Outside The Lines, “Injured boxer's family files lawsuit,” William Weinbaum, March 27, 2014

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