Traumatic brain injuries are sometimes difficult to diagnose because the damage is not visible without scans or X-rays. Timing is a critical component in treating brain injuries. A failure to receive proper care can lead to permanent damage and disability. Sadly, the state inspector general found that the New York State Athletic Commission mishandled the medical care of a boxer after he suffered brain trauma in a New York boxing match.
The boxing match in question was held in Madison Square Garden and televised to a pay-per-view audience. The fight turned out badly for the losing boxer, who had difficulty breathing and ended the fight with his face bloody and swollen. After the fight, the boxer told the ringside physicians that he was experiencing severe headaches. The physicians present reviewed his symptoms, bandaged a wound over his eyelid, and suggested that he go see a doctor once he returned to his home in Florida. There was an an ambulance at the arena, but the doctors decided not to use it.
Later in the night, the NYSAC doctor who was watching over the boxer and officially tasked with monitoring his symptoms observed disconcerting medical symptoms and recommended that he be taken to an emergency room. The boxer’s interpreter attempted to wave down a taxi outside the venue. At that point, the boxer became unbalanced, started vomiting, and lost consciousness after he arrived at the hospital.
The State began a 32-month investigation, and the state inspector general released a report that detailed the ways in which the NYSAC mishandled the boxer’s care. The NYSAC is governed by New York State law, administrative rules it has promulgated, and its Operation and Procedure Manual. The report identified ways in which officials had violated rules and policy and also recommended reforms. In response, the state passed an insurance requirement of $1 million for traumatic injury, aimed at boxing and mixed martial arts athletes. It is believed to be the nation’s highest mandatory minimum insurance requirement for the sports.
The allocation of the State’s $22 million payout to the boxer’s family included $10 million into structured settlement annuities for the boxer, $10 million into an account overseen by his court-appointed property guardian, and $2 million to his wife for loss of services and consortium.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a brain injury, it’s important to be in contact with an experienced attorney to navigate the New York court system. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a proven record of results in obtaining settlements and verdicts for people injured by medical mistakes in Syracuse and all over Upstate New York. Call us today for a free initial consultation.
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