Magomed Abdusalamov, family 'destitute' as lawsuit drags on

Former title contender Magomed Abdusalamov, who suffered severe brain damage in his last fight in 2013, his wife and their three young daughters are "destitute" and in danger of losing their place to live, according to court papers filed Tuesday.

The New York State Supreme Court filing by their attorney cites the family's financial situation and Abdusalamov's physical condition in seeking expedited discovery for their March 2014 lawsuit that alleges gross negligence and medical malpractice by the state athletic commission doctors, referee and inspector assigned to the fight.

That last Abdusalamov bout was exactly 18 months before this Saturday's Mayweather-Pacquiao "Fight of the Century" in Las Vegas. The heavyweight from the Russian Republic of Dagestan was 18-0 with 18 knockouts before losing a unanimous decision that night to Mike Perez.

Hours after his bloody 10-round defeat on Nov. 2, 2013, Abdusalamov nearly died from a subdural hematoma. He underwent emergency brain surgery to remove the blood clot, suffered multiple strokes and was in a coma for weeks. Abdusalamov was in the hospital for more than 10 months and remains paralyzed on his right side and unable to walk or to talk.

Tuesday's filing says Abdusalamov is receiving state aid from Connecticut toward his medical treatment and that he and his family have "exhausted funds provided by charitable donations, are more than $2 million in debt for the incapacitated plaintiff's medical care and are about to lose their place of residence." They live in a Connecticut home owned by close family friend Amin Suleymanov that he had specially equipped for Abdusalamov's condition. But Suleymanov said in an affidavit that he might need to sell or rent the house and curtail his other financial and physical assistance, as he plans to return this summer to Russia, where his fiancée and family live.

Abdusalamov's former promoter said last year that the fighter's purse for the Perez bout was $40,000 and he had the required $10,000 of insurance coverage.

"We're saying to the judge, 'We need help,'" Paul Edelstein, the Abdusalamov family's attorney, told Outside the Lines on Tuesday.

The medical malpractice insurance lawyers representing four of the five commission doctors who are defendants, Edelstein said, have been "maneuvering to delay the case, so while we're sitting on the sidelines as 'Mago' struggles financially and has a tenuous medical situation, I'm trying to expedite matters."

One of the attorneys Edelstein mentioned declined to comment Tuesday, and the others have not replied to messages.

Edelstein also served a subpoena to compel commission chairperson Melvina Lathan, a non-party to the suit, to testify and produce evidence pertaining to the case.

After deciding against using an ambulance that was at their disposal the night of the fight, commission doctors told Abdusalamov -- according to his handlers who were with him in the locker room -- that he could fly home to Florida and go to a hospital there for removal of sutures they had just applied to repair a laceration above his eye and for X-rays of a possible facial fracture. But after blood was found in his urine and he complained of headaches and was vomiting, he was brought by taxi to a hospital.

Within days of the nationally televised 2013 bout, the state of New York announced its inspector general had begun an investigation. It is still continuing, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Commission doctors and officials have not spoken publicly about the fight, the court case or the state's investigation.

In February, Madison Square Garden was dismissed as one of the defendants in the Abdusalamov family's lawsuit. Edelstein said he agreed to let another defendant, K2 Promotions -- the bout's lead promoter -- out of the case, but some of the other defendants did not accept that. The attorney for K2 confirmed this on Tuesday.

Abdusalamov, who turned 34 in March, was hospitalized repeatedly over the winter to treat infections that his wife, Bakanay Abdusalamova, said doctors described as "life-threatening." Now Abdusalamov is undergoing outpatient rehabilitation, but as reported by Outside the Lines, the doctor who supervised his post-surgical care said studies suggest that the condition of a patient is not expected to improve once it's been 18 months since such a brain injury.

Abdusalamova said late last year she doesn't think her husband remembers the fight or realizes the extent of his condition.

In an affidavit, Abdusalamova said her husband's Connecticut health care coverage provides for a couple of hours a week of nursing services and of rehab. But she said it neither covers the degree of care Abdusalamov requires nor the day care services needed for their children, which are "necessary expenses in light of my task of caring for my husband who cannot clean, feed, dress or even go to the bathroom without my assistance."