Dr. David Chao, the medical director for ESPN’s X Games, has been the subject of a gross negligence and medical malpractice investigation by the Medical Board of California. According to a report in the Aspen Daily News, Chao, a San Diego-based orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, has been a member of the X Games medical staff since 1997.
Chao was on the scene of a fatal snowmobile crash in which Caleb Moore was killed during the X Games at Buttermilk last month. He also serves as the head team physician for the San Diego Chargers NFL football team.
The medical malpractice investigation against Chao was initiated in July. The California medical board accused Chao of gross negligence on a hip surgery he performed in 2007, negligent acts in three additional surgeries and failure to maintain accurate medical records. The case has yet to go to a hearing. If found guilty, Chao faces permanent revocation of his medical license, up to a year’s suspension or probation.
Prior Medical Malpractice Allegations
According to the ESPN report, since 1998, there have been 23 charges of medical malpractice or negligence filed against Chao. In the past two years, Chao lost two medical malpractice civil lawsuits, which resulted in $7.4 million paid out to victims.
Also, last year, Chao was publicly reprimanded within the medical community for failing to disclose that he had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2007. In the fiscal year 2012, the California medical board revoked 18 medical licenses out of 185 court cases that accused doctors of negligence.
The Issue of Medical Negligence
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor or some other medical professional who fails to perform his or her medical duties in a competent manner. In order to prove that medical negligence occurred, a plaintiff must be able to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the doctor was negligent and that the doctor’s negligence caused his or her injuries.
Victims of medical negligence can seek compensation for damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, additional medical bills, lost wages and lost earning capacity. Anyone who has been injured as the result of a medical professional’s negligence would be well advised to contact an experienced California medical malpractice attorney or personal injury attorney who will fight for patients’ rights and ensure that they are fairly compensated for their significant losses.