September 1, 2012

We are continuing our discussion of a lawsuit filed by a professional soccer player. The 33-year-old player said he was an important member of his team, including during the team’s successful bid for the Major League Soccer Cup in 2004. In September 2009, the player was involved in a violent collision with another player that snapped his neck back and left him dazed.

In their complaint, the player and his wife say that the team coach and team doctors did not follow up appropriately. As a result, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and the lifelong impairments that come with a TBI.

He did finish that game. Afterward, though, according to the complaint, he reported to the team doctors that he “did not feel right,” that the lights appeared hazy and that his peripheral vision was gone. The next few days were marked by headaches and fatigue, but the coach, who was reportedly aware of the player’s symptoms, put him back on the field in a game just three days after the accident. The team doctors did not perform follow-up exams and did not evaluate the player to determine if he was fit to enter the game.

The game went badly, and the player felt even worse when it was over — the dizziness was worse, his reactions were slow. His behavior, he says, was typical of people who had sustained a concussion. Once again, he told the team doctors about his symptoms. This time, he was told the staff would “monitor” him, but neither the doctors nor the coach examined him.

The team did have a policy and guidelines for evaluating and treating players suspected of having a concussion. If the doctors or the coach had followed the guidelines, the player would have undergone a neuro-cognitive test after the injury that would have shown any changes from the required pre-season test. But nothing was done.

Now, he and his wife are asking for $32 million to compensate them for his injuries. The TBI caused permanent cognitive deficits and memory problems, chronic headaches and balance problems, sleep issues and problems with his vision. And, he says, he also suffers from emotional distress and embarrassment as a result of the team’s negligence.

Source: Courthouse News, “Concussion Ruined Him, Soccer Player Says,” Ryan Abbott, Sept. 11, 2012

Our firm works with clients whose injuries, including TBIs like the player in this story, are the result of someone else’s negligence. If you would like to learn more about our Portland, Oregon, practice, please visit our traumatic brain injury page.


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