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Former MLS player alleges attorneys botched medical malpractice lawsuit against DC United

By Jessica Karmasek | Apr 19, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A former Major League Soccer player, who filed a $12 million lawsuit against DC United and the team’s doctor in 2012 for negligence, now is alleging his attorneys at the time bungled the case’s discovery process.

Plaintiff Bryan Namoff, a former DC United defenseman, filed a complaint for damages in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia April 4.

The named defendants are his former attorneys at Denver law firm Fleishman & Shapiro PC and Washington, D.C., firm Chaikin Sherman Cammarata & Siegel PC, Steven Shapiro and Joseph Cammarata, respectively.

The lawsuit stems from Namoff’s case against DC United, its team medical staff and its outside physicians.

In 2012, Namoff filed a $12 million lawsuit against the team, accusing it of negligence after he suffered a concussion in a match against the Kansas City Wizards in 2009. After playing one subsequent game, the concussion ended his career.

“Namoff is now unable to sustain any meaningful long-term employment and is facing a lifetime of substantial medical costs,” according to Namoff’s most recent complaint, which noted that the soccer player’s legal case against DC United and its physicians was “strong.”

“The facts strongly supported his claim that D.C. United and the outside physicians for D.C. United negligently treated his concussion and as a result he suffered lifelong injuries.”

Namoff argues his case should have been settled or resulted in a verdict “in the millions of dollars.”

“Indeed, Defendants in the complaint they drafted demanded $10 million for medical negligence and $2 million for the impact of Namoff’s injuries on his marriage,” his complaint states.

However, the case ended up being dismissed. A judge ruled that workers’ compensation laws barred Namoff’s claim.

But Namoff contends that a positive outcome was “derailed” by the negligence of his lawyers, Shapiro and Cammarata.

“Defendants failed to properly advise Namoff with regard to discovery, failed to produce hundreds of documents Namoff had provided them in connection with the litigation, and failed to produce emails from email accounts Mr. Namoff made available to Defendants,” according to the 42-page complaint.

And instead of disclosing to Namoff that they had failed to properly represent him, the defendants decided to throw him under the bus, Namoff alleges.

Shapiro and Cammarata went as far as to coerce him into signing an understanding agreement to dismiss his case, he alleges.

“This agreement was fraudulently obtained as a result of at least five separate but intertwined materially false statements made by Defendants to induce Mr. Namoff into signing the release, including the assertion that the sanctions motion was against him only, that Mr. Namoff alone faced $700,000 in fees as a sanction and possible criminal penalties, and that Mr. Namoff was at fault for the discovery violations,” according to Namoff’s complaint. “All of these assertions were materially false and induced Mr. Namoff to sign releases.”

Namoff seeks to recover more than $126,000 in costs he paid to Shapiro and Cammarata, in addition to punitive damages.

Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is representing Namoff.

Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has been assigned to the case.

Shapiro, who is the past president of the Brain Injury Association of Colorado and presently participates in the Colorado Brain Injury Collaborative for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, could not immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

Cammarata, a founder of the Brain Injury Association of DC Inc., a not-for-profit organization devoted to assist persons suffering from a brain injury through prevention, research, education and advocacy, also could not be reached for comment.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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Organizations in this Story

Chaikin Sherman Cammarata & Siegel PC Fleishman & Shapiro PC Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia