Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

Brain-Damaged Boxer Gets $22M in Settlement with State of New York

A brain-damaged boxer will receive $22 million as part of a settlement with the State of New York, the New York Times reports. The boxer, Magomed Abdusalamov, suffered permanent brain damage during a heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden four years ago.

Human brain

The up-and-coming Russian heavyweight took a forearm to the cheek. Abdusalamov alerted his handlers that his cheek may be broken. The fight continued until the 10th round. Abdusalamov was left with a badly swollen face, while his opponent, Mike Perez, was declared the victor.

The settlement was approved on Friday by New York City Civil Court’s Judge Jeanette Rodriguez-Morick.

A separate lawsuit against the ringside physicians has also been filed and is pending in New York’s Supreme Court.

The 36-year-old former boxer, husband and father of three, is unable to speak or walk due to his injuries, according to his lawyer.

“Their lives have been incredibly limited and reliant on the help of others,” said Paul Edelstein, Abdusalamov’s lawyer. “This is going to help them give him care and as dignified an existence as possible.”

“No matter how serious the injury, the devastation and personal impact on one’s life is only part of the series of problems,” says PM Lawyers, a firm that specializes in personal injury lawsuits and is not involved in the case. “Liability, insurance, medical bills, lost wages, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, medical payments and insurance are just a few of the considerations that need to be addressed in handling a serious injury claim.”

The lawsuit, stemming from a 2013 fight, alleged that the New York State Athletic Commission was negligent. Improper care delayed the diagnosis and treatment of a developing blood clot in Abdusalamov’s brain, ESPN reported.

ESPN says Abdusalamov underwent emergency surgery, had multiple strokes and fell into a coma that lasted for weeks. The former boxer is paralyzed on his right side and is unable to walk or speak.

Abdusalamov was paid just $40,000 for the fight and received a $10,000 payout from a mandatory insurance policy. A court filing shows that the family, two years later, is $2 million in debt due to his injuries.

The Athletic Commission, according to reports, lacked an emergency plan to handle the boxer’s injuries appropriately. Consequently, Abdusalamov was forced to travel to the emergency room in a taxi cab. He arrived at the hospital 15 minutes after leaving Madison Square Garden.

Following an investigation, the commission has implemented sweeping changes, including new policies regarding insurance requirements in combat sports events in New York.

Edelstein says the payout given to Abdusalamov is the largest made by the state to a single injury victim.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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