Soccer Goalie Alleges Team Failed to Hold Him out of Practice After Suffering Concussion, Exacerbating Symptoms

Apr 14, 2017

A “talented young goalkeeper” has sued Major League Soccer, D.C. United, and its coach, claiming, among other things, that the team had him practice, despite knowing that he had suffered a concussion during a physical altercation with another player.
Plaintiff Charles Horton signed with D.C. United in February 2016 and by all rights had a promising career ahead of him.
But on March 29, 2016, Horton got into a fight with teammate Fabian Espindola, whom Horton claims had a history of “violent conduct on and off the field,” according to a complaint filed in state court in the District of Columbia.
After the altercation, Horton allegedly experienced “dizziness, shakiness, visual disturbances, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and other symptoms.” He further claimed that the team did not put him in the league-mandated concussion protocol and that he practiced the next day. After Horton’s symptoms worsened after practice, the team allegedly diagnosed him with a concussion the next day. He wasn’t cleared to play again until the following May.
However, he continued to experience “post-concussive symptoms,” which he claimed prevented him from regaining his spot with D.C. United, and ultimately led to his departure from the league at age 22.
“Due to the severity of his ongoing post-concussive neurological symptoms, which directly inhibited his ability to perform at a level necessary to continue his professional career, Mr. Horton was forced to official retire from professional soccer,” according to the complaint.
Horton also claimed that D.C. United and the team’s coach were liable for negligent supervision because of Espindola’s violent past.


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