Study: Ringside docs likely going w/o proper malpractice liability coverage

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The second issue of Association of Ringside Physicians’ (ARP) Journal of Combat Sports Medicine was recently published and included was a study summarizing survey results demonstrating a lack of understanding of various legal issues at play when Ringside Physicians are sued for negligence and further that many members are likely overseeing events without proper malpractice coverage in place.

In the study, titled Ringside Physician Malpractice Coverage Survey What We Know, ARP members were provided a survey canvassing their understanding of differing jurisdictions’ policies for indemnification in cases of alleged medical malpractice. The survey revealed a striking “level of misunderstanding about legal terminology and procedures used to sue ringside physicians for malpractice.

The authors summarized their findings with the following conclusions and advice for physicians practicing ringside medicine:

"…there is significant variance as to state indemnification; there is a great deal of confusion regarding state indemnification; and many ringside physicians are likely going without proper malpractice liability coverage for events. There are a few bottom lines here for ringside physicians that work events other than USA Boxing.

"First, ringside physicians should investigate firsthand or through legal counsel if their state provides indemnification. Ringside physicians should not take someone’s “word of mouth” advice on this.

"Second, ringside physicians should investigate firsthand, through legal counsel or a liability insurance broker, if their policy currently includes combat sports event coverage, and, if so, if it covers professional events or only amateur.

"Third, if there is any question that remains about state indemnification or liability policy coverage, the ringside physician should consider an additional policy rider."

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Author Erik Magraken is a British Columbia litigation lawyer, combat sports law consultant, founder of the Combat Law Sports Blog, and profoundly appreciated UGer.