The mother of a former boxer has filed a $50 million D.C. medical malpractice lawsuit against the ringside physician who allowed her son to continue boxing despite his complaints of dizziness and pain after suffering repeated blows to the back of his head. The plaintiff collapsed after the boxing match that took place in Virginia on October 17, 2015.
He was transported to a local hospital where a CT scan diagnosed a subdural hematoma for which he had surgery to relieve brain swelling, but he has not regained consciousness and remains in a persistent vegetative state, unaware of what is happening around him and unresponsive to his environment.
The former boxer is unable to swallow and requires suctioning. His nourishment is accomplished by a feeding tube and he has a colostomy bag to void. In order to avoid developing bedsores, he needs to be repositioned every two to three hours. His mother provides the round-the-clock care he needs at their home in Florida.
The lawsuit was filed on May 3, 2017 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against the ringside physician and the two promoters of the boxing match.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges that the physician committed medical malpractice by allowing the boxing match to continue. The brain injury lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to have adequate protocols in place to evaluate ringside a boxer’s symptoms of a head injury. The plaintiff’s lawyer stated after filing the lawsuit, “Boxing has refused to have a protocol in place and what they’re doing is they’re really putting the promotional dollars in front of the boxers’ safety because fans don’t want to pay money to have a fight end early.”
The plaintiff’s attorney faulted the defendant ringside physician, who is a family physician in D.C., for also being a boxing promoter, which the plaintiff’s lawyer alleges to be a conflict of interest.
The plaintiff seeks the requested substantial compensation to help pay for the severe and permanent head injury sustained by her son, and to help pay for the round-the-clock care the boxer needs at his Florida home. The plaintiff’s attorney stated that another goal of his client’s lawsuit is to raise awareness so that a boxer does not suffer a similar fate in the future: “To my knowledge, nothing’s been done to alter the way that these fights happen. One of the things that we hope comes out of this case is a wake-up call for boxing.”
The boxer is now 24 years old. He had a promising boxing career before that fateful day, having won five amateur boxing matches before he turned pro at the age of 20. He won his first 16 professional boxing matches, with thirteen of the matches won by knockout. Now, his mother’s greatest hope is to hear her son say “Mom” when she enters his room. So far, that has not happened.
If you or a family member suffered a serious sports injury that may be due to medical malpractice, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you, and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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