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Family of Boxer Sues State of New York for Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Family of Boxer Sues State of New York for Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Boxing is commonly known as an extremely dangerous and sport that involves prolonged periods of physical contact. As a result, boxer are frequently treated for injuries sustained during their matches. However, do the athletes assume the risk of injury when playing a high-impact sport? Does this mean no one can be responsible for their injuries but the athletes themselves? The answer is no. A third party can be held liable for the injuries of athletes if negligence can be proven; precisely what the family of a brain damaged boxer is arguing in the State of New York.

Russian heavy-weight boxer, Magomed Abdusalamov, sustained heavy brain injuries at his Madison Square Garden fight in November 2013, and his family has brought suit against the State of New York and its athletic commission, alleging negligence and medical malpractice.

According to the report, a post-fight exam of the fighter was done and the doctors treated the man's broken left hand, examined his broken nose and stitched a gash that was above his eye. Importantly however, the doctors did not know that the Abdusalamov's brain had started bleeding. The doctors told Abdusalamov that he should see a doctor within a day or two rather than immediately, though the doctor who was present at the time had previously edited a book that recommended immediate emergency medical treatment for boxers who suffer severe lacerations.

A state athletic commission inspector was assigned to monitor Abdusalamov on the night of the fight and said that after commission doctors cleared the fighter and left the dressing room, he noticed blood in Abdusalamov's urine sample — a possible sign of internal bleeding. Farrago, the state athletic commission inspector, said he advised Abdusalamov's handlers to take him by taxi to a hospital, but neither of the two on-site ambulances were summoned for the fight nor was he taken immediately to the hospital.

Later the next day, Abdusalamov underwent emergency brain surgery to tend to a large blood clot that was found via a CT scan and the fighter ultimately fell into a coma for multiple weeks after the fight. Now in a rehabilitation facility, Abdusalamov has shown slight movement and can follow simple commands, but remains bedridden. It is unclear if he will ever walk or talk again. The family asserts legal action on the basis of the negligent care afforded to the fighter and the delayed treatment.

Although this case has not been decided, it illustrates the critical fact that families of patience who are injured or killed as a result of medical professional errors have a right to compensation. 

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