SBD/June 8, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Denver Hospital Chain Settles With Former AFL Player Over Concussion Claims

A Denver hospital chain reached a seven-figure settlement this week with former AFL kicker CLAY RUSH, who alleged a doctor improperly sent him back into a '08 game after two concussions. The kicker could not sue the now defunct Colorado Crush because the team doctor was an independent contractor, employed by HealthOne Hospitals. A jury had been selected for the case, filed in '10, and opening arguments were scheduled for Monday in state court in Denver. Rush's attorney STEVE SHAPIRO said, “No one ever told him what the signs and symptoms of a concussion were and didn’t tell him the dangers. He is totally disabled, he can barely get through the day.” The lawsuit named the doctor, SAURABH MANGALIK and his employer, HealthOne. Shapiro said that Rush had suffered two concussions in 15 days, but was sent back into play during a game on April 25, 2008. The next day he was in the emergency room, he said. The doctor, Shapiro said, failed to use proper protocols in assessing whether Rush should play. HealthOne could not immediately be reached for comment. There has been one similar case in '00, when former NFLer and current ESPN analyst MERRIL HOGE received a $1.55M jury verdict in a lawsuit against a former Bears team doctor. Team doctors are almost always independent contractors, but the statute of limitations is often two years in suing them for these issues, Shapiro said, explaining why the massive concussion litigation filed against the NFL is not directed also at team doctors (most of the defendants played many years ago). Shapiro would only confirm the case was settled, not the amount, though a source pegged it at seven figures.
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