Tottenham Hotspur and cardiologist are liable after youth player’s collapse in first game

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Tottenham Hotspur football club has been told by the High Court that it failed in its duty of care towards Radwan Hamed, a 17-year-old youth player who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game for the club after the results of an abnormal ECG screening were not acted upon by doctors.

Hamed was left with brain damage after he collapsed early in a match he was playing for the club in August 2006. He was allowed to play for the club despite having had screenings prior to his signing which showed that he suffered from the life threatening heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The player was referred to cardiologist Dr Peter Mills for the screening by the club’s head of medical services Dr Charlotte Cowie and her colleague Dr Mark Curtin.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said Dr Cowie made a major error of judgment when concluding that the player did not face any risks.

Diane Rostron, a medical negligence specialist at Linder Myers Solicitors who represented the family, said that Hamed had suffered catastrophic brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest which the judgement had confirmed was entirely avoidable.

“The FA has a screening programme which requires that clubs ensure their young players undergo tests for cardiac conditions such as the silent, and well-documented, life threatening heart condition HCM,” said Rostron.

“Both the doctors employed and instructed by Spurs failed in their duty of care to Radwan with devastating results. Radwan and his parents were not even given the privilege of knowing that his test results had been returned showing abnormal results. Had they been afforded the right to this crucial information, Rad would not have continued playing.

“Instead, specialist doctors told his parents that there was nothing to worry about and he sadly collapsed having suffered a cardiac arrest just 11 months later.

“The judgement against the defendants serves as a clear message to all sporting organisations. Radwan Hamed is lucky to be alive,” she added.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk