Former Arena Football Player Sues Team Doctor for Malpractice Over Concussions


Posted on 19th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A case in Denver may be the first lawsuit where a professional football player is charging a team doctor with malpractice, for the way the physician treated his concussions, since the issue of head injuries came to national prominence three years ago, according to The New York Times.

The legal action was filed Wednesday by a former Arena Football League player, Clay Rush, against Dr. Saurabh Mangalik, team doctor for the now-defunct Colorado Crush, as well as the physician’s employer, HealthONE Clinical Services. The doctor and HealthONE were independent contractors for the team.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in a Colorado state court in Denver, Rush alleges that in 2008 he suffered several hits to his head during several games. The litigation alleges that Mangalik botchedhis treatment of Rush, which had led to permanent brain injury for the player.

The suit charges that Mangalik just treated Rush for a headache, failing to evaluate and observe him before letting him go back to play.

In a phone interview with The Times, Mangalik denied any wrongdoing and said he didn’t know there had been any problems with Rush’s care until he was contacted by the newspaper.

The doctor also asserted that he had warned Rush and Crush trainers that the injured player should not resume practice or return to play until his brain injury symptoms, such as headaches and dizziness, disappeared.

The Colorado Crush team don’t exist anymore.

There have been lawsuits similar to the one filed by Rush. La Salle University last November paid $7.5 million to settle a suit brought by a player who sustained a bad concussion and claimed that the school’s medical staff didn’t give him adequate treatment.

Ten years ago, former National Football League running back Merril Hoge sued Dr. John Munsell, the former Chicago Bears team doctor. The case was later settled, with the terms remaining confidential, according to The Times.

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