The New York Times has reported that an Arena Football League player filed a medical malpractice lawsuit claiming that a team doctor has misdiagnosed his concussion two years ago. This medical error has resulted in a permanent injury for the football player. This is the first medical malpractice lawsuit filed that speaks to the malpractice associated with concussion care in football. The player was a kicker for the A.F.L. in 2008 when he sustained a series of hits to the head over several games. The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that the team physician treated him only for a headache and “failed to properly evaluate and observe” his condition before clearing him to play.
This lawsuit is not the first in a series of brain injury lawsuits filed by football players. In November of last year, La Salle University settled a lawsuit in the amount of $7.5 million filed by a player severely injured by a concussion that he claimed had been mistreated by university medical staff. Also in 2000, Chicago Bear player Merril Hoge received a $1.55 million jury verdict in a brain injury case against the team’s physician Dr. John Munsell. Once again, it was alleged that the team’s physician medical error led to a more serious brain injury. Brain injuries in sports have been a closely watched topic. Professional sports doctors must be extremely cautious when clearing players to participate in any type of physical activity. To read more about the current medical malpractice lawsuit, please click the link.