Former academy player wins multi million pound claim

A former Tottenham Hotspur player who suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch which left him with catastrophic brain damage has been awarded millions of pounds in damages.

Radwan Hamed, now 27, had been associated with the club since he was 11 and had signed on as a professional just three days before his collapse during a game in Belgium in August 2006.

He played in that match despite the club being aware of scans which showed Hamed’s heart was “unequivocally abnormal”.

Mr Hamed’s father, Raymon, claimed that his injuries resulted from the negligence of Dr Peter Mills, a cardiologist who screened his son, and of the club.

Last year, after ruling that the club was 70 per cent liable and Dr Mills 30 per cent responsible, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said that Dr Charlotte Cowie, who was head of the club’s medical services department, made a serious error of judgment when she concluded that the teenager bore no risk of an adverse cardiac event and cleared Hamed to play.

Tottenham is vicariously liable for the actions of Dr Cowie and Dr Curtin, but it was agreed during the case that it would be indemnified by their insurers in respect of any damages.

A High Court judge ruled that Tottenham breached its duties to Radwan by allowing him to continue to play, and on Tuesday morning he was awarded an undisclosed compensation fee, which is believed to be worth in the region of £7m.

Mr Justice Lewis said: “Radwan Hamed was a promising young footballer. At the age of 17 he was playing his first professional match for Tottenham Hotspur.

“Sadly, Radwan suffered from a heart defect and tragically suffered heart attack on the pitch. His heart stopped for many minutes and his brain was starved of oxygen. Thankfully, Radwan survived but he suffered serious injuries.

“There is a system for scanning and screening heart defects in young footballers. Radwan was scanned and the results indicated he might have a heart defect. An earlier hearing found insufficient communication between doctors who carried out the scan and doctors at Tottenham Hotspur.

“The compensation will need to compensate for injury and for loss of earnings. More importantly it will need to ensure his future needs are met. I would like to pay tribute to Radwan Hamed’s family.

“His father and mother and two sisters are a caring and loving family. Mr and Mrs Hamed have cared for Radwan since his tragic injury. They have shown great love and devotion.

“The proposed settlement provides for payment of compensation and interest. I am satisfied the proposed settlement is a fair just and appropriate settlement.”

Spurs issued a statement following an earlier hearing. It read: “The club wholeheartedly regrets that a former employee, as adjudged, was remiss in their duties to Radwan.

“This judgement will hopefully now secure the best treatment and care for him.”

A statement from his family said: “10 years ago, our son, Radwan then aged just 17, suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing football for Tottenham Hotspur. Our athletic, enthusiastic, ambitious, beautiful son was no longer able to walk or talk. He was blind – he had no idea who we were. The doctors advised that recovery was highly unlikely, if not impossible.

“Our shock, devastation and despair has never left us and never will. Tottenham’s doctor, Charlotte Cowie, knew that Radwan might have a potentially fatal cardiac condition. That vital information was never shared with us or Radwan.

“Just as Radwan had no choice but to start his difficult journey towards recovery, we had no choice but to start the difficult journey to obtain justice.

“We risked losing our home and faced personal financial ruin in order to pursue justice for our son. In February 2015, after nine long difficult years, the High Court found the Club, its doctors and Dr Mills negligent.

“Whilst today’s settlement ends our painful crusade for justice for our son, it does not end his fight for recovery. That will never end.

“He cannot live the life of a fit, young, independent man – that is his personal tragedy that can never be undone. The compensation awarded will provide for the care and support he needs for the rest of his life.

“We were, and are, disappointed that Tottenham let our son down so badly and denied any wrongdoing for so very long. We are grateful beyond words for the recovery our son has made and continues to make.

“We wish to thank our beautiful daughters and family for their love and support over the last decade. We are grateful to the British justice system and our experts and legal team.

“Finally, we hope that steps will be taken to ensure that our tragedy is not repeated and inflicted upon another family.”

(Daily Mirror)

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