The parents of former professional boxer Prichard Colon filed a lawsuit on Wednesday where they seek more than $50 million dollars from promoters and doctors involved with his October 2015 bout against Terrell Williams - a fight that left Colon in a coma following a serious brain bleed stemming from illegal punches to the back of his head.
ESPN reports that Colon’s parents are alleging medical malpractice by Dr. Richard Ashby who did not intervene after Colon complained several times that the back of his head was hurting from rabbit punches. Specifically the lawsuit also points at Dr. Ashby for not stopping the fight after the seventh round when Colon told him that he was suffering from dizziness and pain in his head after an illegal punch sent him to the canvas.
Co-promoters HeadBangers Boxing and DiBella Entertainment were also named in the suit, where the parents accuse the promoters of negligence by saying the promoters didn’t provide a qualified physician to work the fight.
"When you hear dizziness and pain in the back of the head after trauma, you send the patient to the hospital," Ari Casper, the Colons' attorney, told Outside the Lines. "As a matter of fact," he added, "there's a heightened cause for alarm because you know he's going to be hit in the head for the remainder of the fight."
Colon’s attorney goes on to say that the family is seeking more than $50M simply because “the cost of caring for a patient in Prichard's condition is astronomical, he requires around-the-clock care and his pain and suffering is unimaginable."
The tragedy began on the afternoon of October 17, 2015, when the then-undefeated Colon took on Williams in a welterweight contest. After taking a number of illegal punches throughout the fight, and after suffering a knockdown in the seventh from another illegal blow, Dr. Ashby examined Colon and determined that he was fit to continue in the fight despite his symptoms of head pain and dizziness. Colon would ultimately be disqualified in the ninth round after his corner cut off his gloves, thinking the fight had ended.
Colon would need to be helped back to his dressing room after the fight where he would soon thereafter vomit and collapse. He would then be rushed to the hospital where he required emergency brain surgery as he was found to be suffering from a subdural hematoma.
Fast forward to present day and Colon, while no longer on a respirator, is still unaware and unresponsive. The only thing he can do on his own is breath. The tragedy has placed an unfathomable burden on the Colon family, who must take care of him on a daily basis with almost no hope that his condition will improve.
"The doctors don't give us hope," said Richard, who comes to the house daily to assist with his son's care. "They say that he's got a mark on the CT scan [that] shows like a black spot -- that it's too large for him to recuperate."
Chief physician and neurologist for the Maryland State Athletic Commission, John Stiller, said he saw the fight live on television at the time and recently reviewed the telecast again. Even now he says he can’t think of a medically sound reason the fight wasn’t called off after Colon complained of dizziness in the seventh.
"The combination of receiving a blow or blows to the head resulting in a boxer complaining of headache and dizziness requires an immediate stoppage," he said, adding that stopping a bout can be a difficult decision, but not in this instance.
And while this whole horrendous situation gets sorted out in civil court, Prichard Colon’s mother just prays to God than one day her son wakes up...
A full copy of the family’s lawsuit can be read here.