ESPN's X Games is an event enjoyed by many in North Carolina. The X Games are known as the Olympics of extreme sports and award bronze, silver and gold medals as well as prize money to winning athletes.
Recently, though, the X Games made headlines because of medical negligence and malpractice claims. According to reports, the medical director of the X Games is currently facing an investigation by the Medical Board of California after being accused of gross negligence and medical malpractice.
The doctor has been a part of the X Games since 1997 and has served as the chief medical officer at more than 24 summer and winter events. In fact, the doctor was the one at the scene following the snowmobile crash that caused fatal injuries to snowmobiler Caleb Moore in the latest winter X Games.
The investigation has been under way since July, when the state medical board accused the orthopedic surgeon of gross negligence in a 2007 hip surgery. Additionally, he was accused of negligence in three other surgeries as well as failure to keep accurate medical records. The investigation follows a public reprimand from the board after the doctor failed to report a 2007 DUI.
Since 1998, the doctor has faced 23 medical malpractice claims against him, according to court records. Over the past two years alone, the doctor has lost two medical malpractice lawsuits that resulted in payments of $7.4 million to the victims.
The board will be deciding whether to permanently revoke the doctor's medical license.
Not all doctors who lose medical malpractice lawsuits have their medical licenses in jeopardy, so the fact that this doctor is facing such extreme punishment is significant.
The X Games will also likely reconsider its relationship with the doctor. In fact, inaction could potentially subject the X Games to liability in personal injury claims.
Source: Aspen Daily News Online, "X Games doc faces negligence charges, license revocation in Calif.," Dorothy Atkins, Feb. 14, 2013