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Boxer's brain injury after NYC fight leads to malpractice suit

When you are ill, injured or at-risk of health problems, you expect a certain standard of care. Many health care professionals perform their duties with diligence, but unfortunately this is not always the case.  Medical negligence can occur within hospitals but in other arenas, too. No matter where it occurs, it can have serious consequences for patients. 

Currently, several groups and individuals, including five doctors from the New York State Athletic Commission, are facing a lawsuit filed by the family of a Russian boxer. The lawsuit follows a 10-round fight that took place in New York City last November that left the heavyweight boxer severely injured.

The brain injury victim suffered 312 blows to the head in the course of the fight, including an illegal strike to the face in the first round. This blow alone, which left the boxer wondering if his nose had been broken, could have ended the fight with a no-contest ruling. But the match was allowed to continue, and the heavyweight boxer sustained life-threatening injuries. A medical malpractice lawsuit suggests that was not the only mistake during the life-changing fight. 

Although doctors tended to his injuries after the fight, they reportedly did not call an ambulance or respond to signs of brain trauma. Despite broken bones, head pain and significant trauma to his face and head, the boxer (and father of three) was told simply to follow up with his doctors in the next couple of days. He traveled by taxi to the hospital that night, and it was almost three hours after the fight when he finally received an operation to remove a blood clot that had formed in his brain and could have killed him without swift treatment. 

Due to the effects of the brain injury, the once-boxer is now bedridden and might never make a full recovery. This is a tragic example of the potential severity of the effects of alleged medical negligence. Such incidents can lead to a worsened medical condition, along with significant pain and suffering for the patient and his or her family. Residents of New York should be prepared to fight such malpractice in order to receive the compensation and care they need to cover their medical expenses, including long-term care, and to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable.

Source: ESPN New York, "Injured boxer's family files lawsuit," William Weinbaum, March 27, 2014

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