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Case Study

High Court approval for boxer Eduard Gutknecht's claim against British Boxing Board

A compromise in Keith Barrett's damages claim against the British boxing regulator (British Boxing Board of Control Limited) on behalf of German boxer Eduard Gutknecht was approved in the High Court recently. During the case, Keith sought factual and expert evidence in the UK and Germany.

Mr Gutknecht, now 39, was catastrophically injured and left in a coma after a WBA International Super-Middleweight title fight against George Groves in London in November 2016.

Details of the agreement between the two parties are confidential at the request of the defendant, but the Court heard the extent of Mr Gutknecht's physical and mental injuries and that the BBBoC accepted in its response to the claim that it owed Mr Gutknecht a duty of care when he arrived in the UK from Germany two days before the fight.

Mike Rawlinson QC on behalf of the family laid out the details of how Mr Gutknecht came to suffer an extensive subdural haematoma, which has left him lacking capacity and with extensive acquired neurological deficit.

He told the Court that in previous fights, Gutknecht had “acquired objectively visible changes to his brain”, but the BBBofC’s rules allowed it to accept a certificate of health from the German boxing regulator. He added that the BBBofC “deny that the scope of the duty of care is that they should undertake their own imaging of a foreign boxer’s brain”.

Mr Gutknecht has trouble communicating and mobilising and will always need full-time care and help with daily life. The judge acknowledged the ongoing support provided to him by his wife and sister Irina, also his litigation friend.

Following approval, Irina spoke about the terrible difficulties the family faced to find the funds to fully support Eduard, with adapted accommodation and ongoing therapies. Eduard currently attends a workshop for the disabled during the day but the rest of the time is looked after by his wife and sister who both work and bring up seven children between them.

Irina said that Eduard needs constant reminding of how to perform daily tasks, such as cleaning his teeth, and will never be able to work or live alone. He is currently able to walk a few steps unaided.

Contact us

For further information about brain injury claims and sports injury claims, please call Keith Barrett on 03304606783 or email keith.barrett@fieldfisher.com.

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