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Tottenham Hotspur liable for player brain damage

2015-02-16 22:10:46

Radwan HamedRadwan Hamed (left) signed for Spurs' youth team without knowing he had had an abnormal ECG

A High Court judge has ruled Tottenham Hotspur breached its duties to a 17-year-old player who suffered cardiac arrest in his first game for the club and was left brain damaged.

Radwan Hamed collapsed during the youth team game in Belgium in August 2006.

In a screening before he signed to the club, an ECG showed his heart to be "unequivocally abnormal" but he was not stopped from playing.

Damages, which could reach £7m, are to be decided next week.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled the club was 70% liable and Dr Peter Mills, the Football Association's regional cardiologist for South East England, was 30% liable.

After the ruling, Mr Hamed's father, Raymon Hamed, said: "We are very happy today because we have been waiting for this a long time. We are very relieved."

Radwan HamedA High Court judge ruled cardiologist Dr Peter Mills was jointly liable

The FA requires all new entrants to football academies to be referred to a cardiologist.

This is to tackle the issue of some young athletes being prone to cardiac fibrillation which, unless treated promptly, is usually fatal.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom found in his judgment that although a form was sent by Dr Mills to the FA and the club recommending a clinical review, the FA did not book one.

Mr Hamed, who is now 26, had an MRI scan and it showed no obvious features of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) - the condition that ultimately led to his collapse - but Dr Mills wrote to Spurs saying HCM could not be excluded on these findings alone.

Eleven months later, with no further tests having taken place and Mr Hamed not knowing his ECG had been "abnormal", he signed a contract with Spurs.

'Gifted and dedicated'

The teenager collapsed six minutes into his first game. He has been left unable to live independently.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom said: "In addition to the usual obligations of a doctor to a patient, the FA protocol placed an obligation upon them to ensure that the claimant and his parents were made aware of any risk that the claimant faced.

"It was their responsibility, as specialist physicians and employers, to ensure that relevant risks were identified and communicated to the claimant and his parents to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether to bear them.

"In this, they singularly failed."

The High Court heard Mr Hamed was "an extremely gifted and dedicated footballer" who had been associated with the club since the age of 11.

Following the hearing a spokesman for the club said: "This judgment will hopefully now secure the best possible treatment and care for him.

"The club has been supportive of Radwan and his family over the past 10 years and we wish them well for the future."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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