MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND PERSONAL INJURY LAW BLOG

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MLS Soccer Player Says Medical Malpractice Took His Livelihood

In 2016, Jake Gleeson became the number one goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers, the year after they won the MLS Cup. For the next couple of years, Gleeson continued to play, ready to go into the 2018 season at his best. Unfortunately, a series of surgeries left him unable to walk without pain and he is no longer able to pursue his dream career.  

Complaints of Shin Pain and Surgery

In the summer of 2018, Gleeson was complaining of pain in both shins. X-rays showed stress fractures in his tibias. The team’s doctor recommended surgery to insert metal plates into his shins. On August 15, Gleeson had the recommended surgery and was awaiting recovery. 

However, a month later, Gleeson was suffering from an infection in his right leg. Doctors went to perform surgery to remove the plate on the right leg but then decided to leave it in. The infection returned and the doctors ended up removing the plate. Then, an infection developed in his left leg, and the left plate was also removed. 

Gleeson got a second opinion from non-Timbers doctors, who told him he had dead tissue and bone (necrosis and osteomyelitis) in both shins. He had to undergo additional surgeries to remove the infected bone. Gleeson spent months in recovery and still reports suffering shin and nerve pain

Gleeson Filed a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit 

Gleeson filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against two of the Timbers’ doctors, Richard H. Edelson and Jonathan E. Greenleaf. According to the complaint, Gleeson alleges:

  • The plates were not properly sterilized before surgery,
  • There was an undisclosed breach of sterility at the outpatient surgery center, 
  • The surgical procedure was aggressive and risky, without first trying more conservative approaches, and 
  • There was no orthopedic necessity to implant the plates. 

Gleeson says, with the pain he is suffering, running, jumping, or trying to get back into training is not possible for him now. He can walk a few miles but treadmill sessions only last about a minute. He also suffers mental pain, frustration over what happened, anxiety, and depression. 

Gleeson is seeking $10.2 million in economic and noneconomic damages.   

Assessing Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Considering the extensive damage done and likely end of a professional sports career, a claim for $10 million in damages could be appropriate. The damage claim in a medical malpractice lawsuit is to compensate the injury victim for their losses caused by the other parties’ negligence. 

Economic damages can include any financial loss associated with the injury. In this situation, it could include: 

  • Medical bills,
  • Loss of income, 
  • Costs of future surgeries, and
  • Loss of earning potential from no longer being able to play as a professional soccer player. 

Noneconomic damages can be more difficult to estimate. Suffering pain for months and continuing pain for an indeterminate future should be compensated. There is also a recognizable emotional toll with pursuing a career path for most of your life that is suddenly yanked away by doctors who did not provide proper care. 

Sports Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Even for people who like to run or play sports recreationally, a medical mistake that puts an end to their physical activity can be devastating. The medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian strive to represent victims of medical errors and their families to recover compensation for their losses. Contact the injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian online to get started on your case.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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