By Keith Idec
A judge approved a settlement agreement Friday through which New York State has agreed to pay $22 million to the family of injured boxer Magomed Abdulsalamov.
ESPN.com reported that Court of Claims judge Jeanette Rodriguez-Morick signed off Friday on what is believed to be the largest personal injury settlement the state of New York ever has agreed to pay. The family of Abdulsalamov filed a lawsuit that accused the New York State Athletic Commission, its staff and doctors of gross negligence, medical malpractice and recklessness after the heavyweight suffered brain damage from a 10-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Mike Perez in November 2013 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
In the suit, the fighter’s family contended that he would not have suffered such serious brain trauma had he been treated properly in the immediate aftermath of that brutal bout. Abdulsalamov traveled to a nearby emergency room in a taxi after NYSAC personnel examined him in his dressing room.
He underwent emergency surgery, spent several weeks in a coma, remained hospitalized for more than 10 months and still suffers from the effects of his injuries.
The 36-year-old Abdulsalamov still can’t talk or walk, and suffers from paralysis on his right side.
According to another court filing, Abdulsalamov at that point owed more than $2 million for his medical treatment because the then-standard insurance policy for boxers who competed in New York State covered only $10,000 in medical expenses.
An investigation into the incident by the state inspector general lasted nearly three years and determined that the NYSAC mishandled Abdulsalamov after that fight.
The Russian southpaw took a brutal beating against Cuba’s Perez in a 10-round fight many media members and fans felt should’ve been stopped long before it ended as scheduled. Abdulsalamov (18-1, 18 KOs), who made $40,000 for a fight HBO televised, bled from his nose for most of the fight, seemingly had trouble breathing and suffered from swelling around his eyes.
Abdulsalamov lives with his wife, Bakanay, and their three young daughters in Connecticut.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.