Magomed Abdusalamov receives $ 22 million settlement from New York State
NEW YORK – Nearly four years after boxer Magomed Abdusalamov suffered brain damage in a fight at the Madison Square Garden theater, New York State has agreed to give him and his family $ 22 million in what is believed to be the largest personal injury settlement in the world pay state has made.
The appellate judge Jeanette Rodriguez-Morick approved the agreement on Friday.
After Abdusalamov’s fight on November 2, 2013, his family filed charges of recklessness, gross negligence, and medical misconduct by the New York State Athletic Commission, NYSAC staff, and the doctors who hired them to work that night. The complaint states that improper care significantly delayed diagnosis and treatment of a developing blood clot in Abdusalamov’s brain. He underwent emergency surgery, suffered several strokes, was in a coma for weeks and was in hospital for over 10 months, including inpatient rehabilitation.
Abdusalamov, 36, remains paralyzed on his right side and cannot walk. His speech is mostly limited to mumbling. His wife Bakanay Abdusalamova said the doctors told her he probably would never speak again, but now he occasionally delivers fully formed words with clarity. She takes care of him and their three daughters – ages 11, 8, and 4 – in a Connecticut home that a friend has given her.
Abdusalamov received $ 40,000 for the fight and the full $ 10,000 from a mandatory minimum insurance policy. A year and a half later, the disabled ex-boxer and his family were owed more than $ 2 million, according to a 2015 court file.
After a 32-month investigation, the state inspector general released a 48-page report last year denouncing NYSAC for improperly treating Abdusalamov and a range of systemic issues, including how to approach medical emergencies.
The Abdusalamov family lawyer Paul Edelstein characterized the $ 22 million settlement with ESPN’s Outside the Lines as “the state that takes responsibility for its actions and pays a fair amount for the damage caused – it was made by.” the Attorney General and Assistant AG Ross. Herman handled it extremely professionally and sensitively. “
Abdusalamova told OTL through an interpreter that when she found out about the impending settlement, “I was depressed for a few days because I always thought that by then Mago would be better and our normal life would return … realize.” that while we cannot bring back the Mago from before, this will really help us improve his and our family’s lives and we can pay to have him treated more without being dependent on others. “
Left-handed Abdusalamov, a heavyweight title contender from the Russian Republic of Dagestan, was 18-0 and opponent Mike Perez was 19-0 at the start of their 10-round bout, televised by HBO in 2013. From the first round, when Perez staggered Abdusalamov with a swift left forearm in the face, Abdusalamov seemed to be having trouble breathing from his nose. Perez won a unanimous decision, and Abdusalamov’s face was bloody, puffy.
In a 2014 Outside the Lines report, Abdusalamov’s carers said he told the doctors on the ring in the locker room after the fight that his head hurt. Doctors examined him, sewed a cut over his left eye, and advised him to X-ray a suspected fracture of the face after he planned to return to Florida, where he lived with his family at the time. The doctors did not send him to a local New York hospital, even though an ambulance was available to them.
After the doctors left the locker room, NYSAC inspector Abdusalamov found blood in his urine sample and suggested that he take a taxi to a hospital. While Abdusalamov’s interpreter was trying to call a cab outside the garden, the increasingly unsafe 6-foot-3,231-pound boxer was nearby and vomited. When he got to the emergency room, he passed out.
The Inspector General’s investigation revealed that NYSAC Chief Medical Officer Barry Jordan had some responsibility for the confusion when Abdusalamov fell ill after the fight and that the training and action of NYSAC Inspector Matt Farrago was lacking. The settlement reached on Friday does not contain any reference to the Inspector General’s findings or an admission by the state that employed and represented Jordan and Farrago, but the Abdusalamov family dropped their claims against them under the agreement.
The Inspector General’s report recommended reforms to NYSAC, the agency that oversees boxing and mixed martial arts events in the state, which were legalized there in 2016, allegedly the highest in the nation.
The state will pay Abdusalamov $ 10 million in structured settlement pensions, $ 10 million in an account monitored by his court-appointed asset manager (to handle financial obligations including legal fees), and $ 2 million to his wife for the Loss of services and consortium.
“I would exchange all the money to just bring Mago back to the way he was,” said Abdusalamova, “but it doesn’t work that way. It can’t buy the luck we had.”
In May, Abdusalamova posted a video on Instagram of her husband smiling as his daughters cheerfully hugged with their arms on a tray table above his hospital bed at home.
“He cried for a long time, clearly in a bad mood, but antidepressants helped control it,” she said.
A counterclaim filed by the state against Abdusalamov’s former trainer, manager, interpreter and promoter is no longer active.
The settlement agreement states that the family will not release their claims against Anthony Curreri, Osric King and Gerard Varlotta, the doctors who examined and cared for Abdusalamov in the garden on the night of the fight before, during and after the fight. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. is also named.
“The three doctors on the ring had primary responsibility and we won’t stop until they acknowledge it,” said Edelstein. “Their malpractice lawyers don’t seem to see the case the way the inspector general and the attorney general do.”
Edelstein, who is pursuing the case in the state Supreme Court, added, “I am obviously delighted with the settlement with the state to take care of Mago and his family, but having these doctors testify in court may be the best way to go to show how difficult it is and how screwed up the athlete support system is in an admittedly dangerous sport. “