The Portland Timbers must now prepare to defend themselves against a lawsuit filed by former player Eddie Johnson, who alleges that the team and the medical personnel committed an act of negligence when they allowed Johnson to return to the field after he suffered from various head injuries. In the initial complaint that Johnson filed, he sought almost $10 million in damages. Johnson’s complaint was first filed in the Oregon State Court.
The defendants named in Johnson’s suit include Peregrine Sports, the company that represents the Portland Timbers team, the Oregon Sports Medicine Association, Jonathan Greenleaf, who is the team’s physician, Nik Wald, the head athletic trainer, and James E. Bryan, who is a psychologist. According the complaint, all of the collective defendants held the responsibility of informing the player if the physical condition of the player will have any adverse effect on his health and/or performance, and if that condition can be made permanent with continued performance.
Johnson purportedly suffered a concussion, and was advised by the defendants that he was in adequate condition to continue playing. Johnson believes that the three medical professionals, OSMA, Jonathan Greenleaf, and Nik Walk executed poor judgment in deeming him fit to play, and thus are responsible for the end of his soccer career due to further aggravation of the existing injury.
Johnson first suffered his head injury, a concussion, on August 14, 2011. After the injury, he was deemed unfit to play for the rest of the season by the defendants. When the 2012 preseason arrived, Johnson claims he had not fully recovered from the injury and still suffered symptoms. However, despite the symptoms, Johnson was given permission to play for the 2012 preseason. Soon thereafter, Johnson claims he suffered yet another head injury, which put him out of soccer for good.
Unable to play soccer, Johnson now believes the listed defendants are to blame because they failed to fulfill their duties. Among the allegations, it is said that the defendants did not follow the proper guidelines for deciding whether to allow a player to play after a concussion, that they failed to examine Johnson fully before letting him play during the preseason and that they did not properly assess Johnson after the initial concussion.
Johnson’s soccer career was not the only thing that was effected by the injury. He also claims that his injury has interfered with his daily life. He says he has suffered serious brain injuries and has constant headaches, impaired memory and is depressed. It is because of these injuries that Johnson will have a long rehabilitative process and must pay for those services. Thus, he seeks the almost $10 million dollars in his lawsuit.
The lawsuit is still in its very early stages. There is a possibility that Johnson’s charges will be dismissed. The Timbers have thus far denied all allegations of wrongdoing.