The family of brain-damaged Russian heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against multiple parties including five New York State Athletic Commission doctors and New York's Madison Square Garden — alleging recklessness, gross negligence and medical malpractice, the boxer's attorney, Paul Edelstein confirmed to RingTV.com on Thursday.
ESPN.com first reported the story. Edelstein said he filed the suit at the Brooklyn-based Kings County Supreme Court. The suit names the New York State Athletic Commission's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barry Jordan, M.D. and Doctors Avery Browne, D.O., Anthony Curreri, M.D., Osric S. King, M.D. and Gerard Varlotta, D.O.
Also named is referee Benjy Esteves Jr., according to ESPN.com. According to court papers (index number: 502624 / 2014, dated on Wednesday) Edelstein provided to RingTV.com, the suit also names NYSAC Inspector Matthew D. Ferrago, K2 Boxing Promotions, LLC. and MSG Holdings, L.P. (d/b/a MSG Sports).
According to ESPN.com, Ferrago, a former fighter, said the commission suspended him indefinitely less than a week after Abdusamalov-Perez yet informed him the suspension was unrelated to the bout.
"It was filed late yesterday and it has been filed against the five ring doctors who were there. Obviously, with Barry Jordan being the number one guy and the New York state inspector who was there, Madison Square Garden and K2 [Promotions,]" said Edelstein, during an interview with RingTV.com.
"It's medical malpractice, for the most part, and inadequate post-fight care of Abdusalamov. That's the number one claim. The second is negligence in not stopping the fight in time. But by far, the more serious allegation is medical malpractice for inadequate post-fight care after the fight was over."
Although the family had originally filed court documents with the intentions of suing the state of New York and the New York State Athletic Commission for $100 million, Edelstein said that is no longer the case and that no specific dollar amount has been attached.
"It has been filed but we can not sue the the athletic commission directly. They are immune from suits but their employees are not," said Edelstein. "For this complaint, there no requirement to put a dollar figure on it, so there isn't one laid out in this complaint like there was in the notice of complaint."
Abdusalamov, who turned 33 on Tuesday, suffered brain trauma during a brutal beating by Mike Perez during an HBO-televised 10-round fight on November 2 at Madison Square Garden. Abdusalov was placed in a medically induced coma by doctors at New York's St. Luke's Hospital until December 10 but is now in rehabilitation at the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.
Edelstein said Abdusalamov is undergoing surgery on Thursday at Mt. Sinai Roosevelt to install a shunt in his head to regulate the flow of cerebral fluid, adding he has slight movement although he is still bedridden.
"He's breathing on his own and he's able to move his upper extremities," said Edelstein, "but he's not able to walk or talk."
Abdusalamov, who suffered a broken jaw and hand during the bout, complained to his corner about feeling pain in those areas throughout much of the contest. He also complained to commission doctors that he was experiencing pain in his head immediately after the fight.
"Unfortunately, I can't comment on any pending litigation," said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, who referred questions to John Hornewer, attorney for K2 Promotions. "Outside of that, we complied with all of the rules and regulation of the New York State Athletic Commission."
"I have not received a copy of anything," said Hornewer. "Obviously, I will reserve any comment until I do."
A state athletic commission spokesman told ESPN.com on Thursday that it had not seen the suit and declined comment, this, a day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of attorney David Berlin as the commission's new executive director, effective May 1.
Esteves Jr. could not be reached for an immediate comment.