Clay Rush, a Former Arena Football League (AFL) player, filed a lawsuit last week against his former team’s doctor and HealthOne Clinic Services. His lawyers claim that Rush incurred a permanent traumatic brain injury due to malpractice on the part of Dr. Saurabh Mangalik. Rush suffered two head injuries within two weeks in April of 2008 during AFL games. A Winnipeg Free Press article reported, ‘He showed symptoms of a concussion, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision and insomnia, but wasn’t properly evaluated or monitored, the lawsuit says.’
Rush’s legal team said that by attending practice and playing football he incurred a second injury. Had he been properly monitored and withheld from the game until his symptoms disappeared, he would not have suffered a permanent brain injury, the lawsuit alleges. However, the New York Times reported, ‘Mangalik said his records indicated that he had repeatedly told Rush and team trainers that Rush should not play or practice until his symptoms, like headaches and dizziness, cleared.’
Since the Arena Football League shut down in 2009, Rush has been unable to work and, ‘gets psychological treatment, undergoes rehabilitation for pain, dizziness and balance problems and gets occupational and speech therapy,’ the Free Press article reported. The damages sought in the lawsuit were unspecified.
The Times reported on two similar previous lawsuits. In 2009, a player for La Salle University received a $7.5 million settlement for mistreatment of a concussion. In 2000, an NFL player, Merril Hoge, won $1.55 million from the Chicago Bears team doctor over an ill-treated concussion.
The recent case coincides with heavy media coverage of traumatic brain injury, with much of the country taking part in Brain Injury Awareness Month. Concussions in sports have grown into media frenzy. The NFL and many collegiate and high school football programs have made changes to adapt to the scientific proof that a second concussion shortly after the first can and often does leave lasting brain damage.
We will cover the results of the lawsuit as details become available.
Elliot, Dan. (March 19, 2010) ‘Former AFL player sues over concussion, says doctor didn’t follow standard care.’ Retrieved on March 23, 2010 from the Winnipeg Free Press Web site:http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/football/former-afl-player-sues-…
Schwarz, Alan. (March 18, 2010) ‘Lawsuit Cites Mishandling of Football Concussions.’ Retrieved on March 23, 2010 from the New York Times Web site:https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/sports/football/19concussions.html