Boxer Franco has brought a lawsuit against Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports (the sports management company owned by the entrepreneur in 2013) claiming that he suffered skull and brain injuries as a result of their allegedly “reckless and grossly negligent acts.”
This week, attorneys for defendants moved to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that it was improperly filed per the terms of the agreement between the two parties, which stipulates that any legal matters must be handled under New Jersey law and be subject to arbitration.
Mr. Franco’s lawsuit concerns events which happened in 2017. According to his complaint, defendants forced him to participate in three fights within a 79-day period, despite his lack of preparation due to previous illnesses. He alleges that he was reluctant to fight, but that Roc Nation Sports pressed him to go through with the match or encounter “difficulty securing future fights.” He claims this pressure caused him to agree to fight. After the third of these three fights, which he lost by TKO in the eighth round, he was hospitalized and fell into a coma after he suffered a brain hemorrhage. The suit states doctors had to surgically remove a part of his skull to relieve pressure.
His claim states that he believes he entered the third fight with two fractures in his skull and a brain bleed, which could’ve been detected through a proper medical evaluation, which the defendants failed to provide. He claims that he is still suffering from physical and cognitive issues, and must now wear a protective helmet to prevent further damage to his brain.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Severe TBI can be catastrophic. These injuries are often fatal; if they are not, they are frequently disabling or even paralyzing. The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be permanent. Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. The CDC reports that from 2006 to 2014, the number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths increased by 53%. Falls are the leading cause of TBI in the United States. These account for almost half of all TBI-related emergency department visits, and disproportionately affect children and older adults, with almost half of all TBI-related ER visits among children caused by falls, while four in five (81%) TBI-related ED visits in older adults aged 65 years and older were caused by falls.