Brengle WTA ITF lawsuit

AM75

Professional
#1
So Bouchard's victory over USTA has really opened a can of worms as people here predicted. What's next? Lawsuits against ATP for the tournament schedule and physical and moral distress it causes to players? Will players complain about referees' controversial decisions in court, arguing that they could win this or that tournament if not for the referee? It seems there are limitless possibilities here...
 
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sportmac

Hall of Fame
#3
Sounds like she has a good case to me:

https://www.eurosport.com/tennis/ma...ries-from-doping-tests_sto6707975/story.shtml

The 28-year-old American had informed tennis authorities that she suffered from a rare medical condition that reacts to needle injections, her lawyer Peter Ginsberg said.


"Tennis authorities ignored evidence of her professionally-diagnosed condition and refused to provide alternative testing or a medical accommodation, instead subjecting Brengle to testing that caused her to withdraw from tournaments and has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand," Ginsberg said in a statement.
 
#5
So Bouchard's victory over USTA has really opened a can of worms as people here predicted. What's next? Lawsuits against ATP for the tournament schedule and physical and moral distress it causes to players? Will players complains against referees' controversial decisions in court arguing that they could win this or that tournament if not for the referee? It seems there are limitless possibilities here...
..Brengle??
 
#6
Sounds like she has a good case to me:

https://www.eurosport.com/tennis/ma...ries-from-doping-tests_sto6707975/story.shtml

The 28-year-old American had informed tennis authorities that she suffered from a rare medical condition that reacts to needle injections, her lawyer Peter Ginsberg said.


"Tennis authorities ignored evidence of her professionally-diagnosed condition and refused to provide alternative testing or a medical accommodation, instead subjecting Brengle to testing that caused her to withdraw from tournaments and has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand," Ginsberg said in a statement.
Thanks for the info..
If this is what happened the ITF are morons. If Brengle is moving forward, have to assume she has proof from a doctor
 
#7
If she has a documented medical condition and they forced her to undergo a testing procedure that they had proof could harm her physically as a result of said condition then I back Brengle 1000% in this. Willfully ignoring medical documentation and acting in a way that knowingly could cause harm is negligence in the extreme. This is going to be ugly
 

sportmac

Hall of Fame
#9
Apparently the ITF confirmed the diagnosis with an independent medical test last year:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/09/madison-brengle-lawsuit-wta-itf-needles-doping-tests

The suit claims Brengle was formally diagnosed in November 2016 with a rare condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I, which in the American’s case is induced by needles and “causes extreme pain as well as swelling, numbness and bruising at and in the vicinity of the injection site”, a finding that was corroborated in July 2017 by an independent medical assessment requested by the ITF.
 
#10
No, just because Brengle's case looks more serious does not mean Bushy was wrong. The USTA basically ended up admitting guilt. The facts were clear. As long as the premises are open and there is no Closed sign, the owners are responsible for making sure there is nothing dangerous going on. I have myself come across situations where a cleaning person would start mopping the floors 10 minutes before close while a customer comes in a hurry and finds a slippery floor. Sorry, you are accountable till the place is officially closed.
For sure they were accountable for not having a "closed" sign, therefore accountable for Bouchard slipping and withdrawing from that particular tournament.

They were not though (or should not have been) accountable for Bouchards failing tennis career, which was her justification for claiming millions.

Brengle does have a case for arguing that, as well as for whatever distress it caused.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#12
For sure they were accountable for not having a "closed" sign, therefore accountable for Bouchard slipping and withdrawing from that particular tournament.

They were not though (or should not have been) accountable for Bouchards failing tennis career, which was her justification for claiming millions.

Brengle does have a case for arguing that, as well as for whatever distress it caused.
She fell and had concussion. That is serious enough. The USTA could have proceeded with the jury trial, but I think everyone would agree that a concussion is a serious issue for an athlete and her income.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#13
She's going for punitive damages, big time. She doesn't have nearly the loss of income potential as Genie so the vast majority of those damages are punitive.

The lawsuit said the exact amount Brengle would seek from a jury had yet to be determined but would likely be in excess of $10 million.
Genie is young, recent top 10, slam finalist, tons of endorsements and a whole career ahead of her. Her loss of income damages will be HUGE (as long as the jury aren't members of this forum lol).
 
#15
"Tennis authorities ignored evidence of her professionally-diagnosed condition and refused to provide alternative testing or a medical accommodation, instead subjecting Brengle to testing that caused her to withdraw from tournaments and has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand," Ginsberg said in a statement.
I boggles my mind that she did not get the injection on her left arm. How can that be? Is it because her 2hbh is her best shot?
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#16
Let me get this straight.

She has 2.1 mill in career tournament earnings

And she's suing for 8 mill?

Suuuuuure

Either she can prove some serious medical wrongdoing or something like that, or we might as well stop antidoping and let them all blood dope so hard they stroke out on court.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#17
I have to add that it's absolutely brilliant journalism that it's not made clear in the article which medical condition this is about
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#18
Did you read the article?

has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand," Ginsberg said in a statement.
And I already answered your question about damages - obviously she is seeking punitive damages, not just compensatory.
 
#20
She fell and had concussion. That is serious enough. The USTA could have proceeded with the jury trial, but I think everyone would agree that a concussion is a serious issue for an athlete and her income.
Concussion might have affected her for the rest of the year.

Her career was already going the same way as Bernies regardless, her slip gave her a perfect excuse.

2014 W-L; 45-23
2015 W-L; 12-18
 
#25
CRPS: usually related to surgery or a fracture with nerve injury. How do know that the needles caused this and not actually playing tennis. It is also predominately a diagnosis of exclusion, as in all other things are ruled out and then you are left with this. Unless the phlebotomist were placing the needles into her nerves, I struggle to understand how this triggered her problems. Also ACCUPUNTURE is one of the modalities used to treat symptoms as is ACCUPUNTURE with electrical stimulation (neuromodulation).

Lastly CRPS 1 is the mildest form.

I feel for her but this is the reason the US had so many legal issues (like the USTA and Genie) and indeed the box is now open.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#28
CRPS: usually related to surgery or a fracture with nerve injury. How do know that the needles caused this and not actually playing tennis. It is also predominately a diagnosis of exclusion, as in all other things are ruled out and then you are left with this. Unless the phlebotomist were placing the needles into her nerves, I struggle to understand how this triggered her problems. Also ACCUPUNTURE is one of the modalities used to treat symptoms as is ACCUPUNTURE with electrical stimulation (neuromodulation).

Lastly CRPS 1 is the mildest form.

I feel for her but this is the reason the US had so many legal issues (like the USTA and Genie) and indeed the box is now open.
Kinda like the cops and firefighters who mysteriously get injured at the very end of their career so they can get disability retirement (tax free for life yo).

Soon we'll have WTA players suing over hearing loss suffered at the hands of Shriekapova and friends:

TV commercial - "Have you or one of your family members been a member of the WTA and at any time played (sharapova, azarenka, muguruza etc etc)? YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR PERMANENT HEARING LOSS! Join our growing class action lawsuit by calling 1-800-my-f*cking-ears-are-bleeding for details!"
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#32
You're everything that is wrong with Republicans in this day and age. If you think a surefire case of medical malpractice which could end up ruining her health for the rest of her life isn't worth at least 4x her current earning power you're beyond reason.
So, you back up your opinion with an ad hominem, and I'm somehow everything that's wrong with Republicans this day and age?
 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
#36
So, you back up your opinion with an ad hominem, and I'm somehow everything that's wrong with Republicans this day and age?
Lmao some people are so fixed on finding something to be offended by and it always spirals into politics too.
 
#38
This is a tough one. I don't know much about law but if I'm reading this correctly she has been previously diagnosed with CRPS-1. Meaning that she should be aware of her symptoms occurring whenever "damage" gets done to her limbs, be in the form of an injection or a fracture or whatever it is. So she knew this could happen.
In my opinion, the decision of whether or not the USTA are guilty of anything depends on how well they were informed of the condition and of the resulting effects that the needle punctures could have. It has been well documented that persistent recurring damage can cause permanent injury (including permanent swelling and restriction of movement) in CRPS.

CRPS is quite rare so I don't think USTA is to blame for not knowing everything about the condition itself, but if Brengle did clearly ask for permission to not receive those blood tests in the standard manner because these permanent complications could occur, then it's the USTA's responsibility to further research this and come up with an alternative testing method. I'm wondering why they couldn't have chosen a different location to take blood if they really needed to?
 
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jmnk

Hall of Fame
#39
Sounds like she has a good case to me:

https://www.eurosport.com/tennis/ma...ries-from-doping-tests_sto6707975/story.shtml

The 28-year-old American had informed tennis authorities that she suffered from a rare medical condition that reacts to needle injections, her lawyer Peter Ginsberg said.


"Tennis authorities ignored evidence of her professionally-diagnosed condition and refused to provide alternative testing or a medical accommodation, instead subjecting Brengle to testing that caused her to withdraw from tournaments and has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand," Ginsberg said in a statement.
So the only thing is that it looks like the formal diagnosis about her medical condition was not there until November 2016, but she is apparently suing due to complications from blood tests _prior_ to that. I'm not sure if just 'informing the authorities about the condition' without, presumably, a formal diagnosis yet, is enough...
 

Aussie Darcy

Talk Tennis Guru
#43
I don’t understand how anyone can take a view that isn’t, ‘wow, that’s awful treatment by the ITF/WTA’.

They knew about this and they continued on anyway. Terribly negligent and I definitely think this will go to Brengle. Will be interesting to see how much she gets in damages. $8 million is a bit beyond reasonable in my opinion.

For those who don’t know of Brengle, she’s the only player to beat a pregnant Serena Williams. She did so in Auckland. Serena then went on to play the Aus Open pregnant which she won. Solid achievement for Brengle.
 

Aussie Darcy

Talk Tennis Guru
#44
The Ben Rothenberg NYT article with was the original one explains it far better and goes into specific and awful details.

The tennis player Madison Brengle filed a lawsuit in Manatee County, Fla., circuit court on Monday afternoon against the Women’s Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation, seeking damages for battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from blood-testing procedures that she said permanently damaged her right arm.

The lawsuit also named International Doping Tests and Management, a Swedish company that administers tests for the I.T.F.; Stuart Miller, who is in charge of the I.T.F.’s antidoping program; and John Snowball, a doping control officer for I.D.T.M.

Brengle, 28, said the defendants acted with disregard for her well-being by subjecting her to vein-penetrating blood drawings for antidoping tests, despite her having a medical condition that causes extreme pain when a needle is inserted into her arm.

The I.T.F. said in a statement that the federation was aware of Brengle’s accusations, but had not yet been served with the lawsuit and would not comment on it. The WTA did not respond to a request for comment.

The pain from three mandatory blood tests before Grand Slam events in 2016 has lingered, Brengle said, leaving her with damage to her right arm that has affected her serve.

Months after the last of her 2016 drug tests, Brengle was found to have complex regional pain syndrome induced by venipuncture.

In a statement, Brengle’s lawyer, Peter R. Ginsberg, said his client had endured “prolonged mistreatment at the hands of the giants in women’s professional tennis” and filed the suit “seeking protection from their abusive administration of the antidoping program.”

According to the complaint, Brengle is seeking damages in excess of $10 million. She has won $2.2 million in prize money during her career.

In an interview last week before her lawsuit was filed, Brengle said that intense reactions to venipuncture have been an issue in her family for generations. She said that when her grandmother was in a coma after suffering a stroke, she screamed when a nurse inserted a needle into her arm.


She said she did not have issues with immunizations or other injections until she had intravenous sedation when having her wisdom teeth removed at 17.

“It felt like my arm was getting cut off,” she said. “I’m screaming in pain, because I wasn’t expecting that.”

“It’s lightning, it’s acid pouring into your skin,” she said of the pain.

Brengle had her first antidoping blood test at the Wimbledon qualifying tournament in 2009. She said that the phlebotomist missed the vein in her left arm twice, and that her vein collapsed on the third try.

“I hit the floor,” Brengle said. “I passed out from the pain.”

She was not given another blood test until 2016, before the Australian Open. Worried that the swelling and pain would leave her unable to play in the tournament, where she had reached the fourth round the year before, Brengle had the test moved up several days. She recovered and reached the third round before losing to the eventual champion Angelique Kerber.

Brengle said she had a panic attack before her next test at Wimbledon, but thought it might be better if the blood was drawn from her foot.

“I still fully didn’t understand my condition,” she said. “And I was so desperate to be O.K.”

Brengle said that when she had “a very visible panic attack,” Snowball suggested the testers “put a blindfold on her.”

“To a person who is having a panic attack, to threaten to blindfold them, that’s like Guantánamo Bay stuff,” Brengle said through tears.

Rather than showing sympathy, she said, antidoping authorities have responded with threats to punish her for uncooperative behavior.

After the blood was drawn, Brengle’s right foot badly swelled and bruised, which she documented with photos. Her next blood test, at the United States Open, caused such swelling in her arm that she was forced to retire from her first-round match. Her hand still swells and burns, she said, and she cannot feel her middle, ring or pinkie fingers.

“This is the test my body never recovered from,” Brengle said. “This is the one that changed my career, changed my life, more than you can know.”

Later that fall, Brengle was given a diagnosis of C.R.P.S. Though her suit contends that the defendants were “knowing and ignoring that she suffers from a rare medically-diagnosed physical condition,” it does not seem that she underwent any blood tests after her diagnosis, which was verified by an I.T.F.-picked doctor.

In Brengle’s complaint she said she received an agreement from Miller last August on behalf of the I.T.F. and antidoping agencies to give her “a one-year conditional exemption from venipuncture blood testing after years of Brengle’s pleas and requests.”

Brengle wants to extend that exemption for the remainder of her career. In the closing of the complaint she filed Monday, Brengle seeks “entry of a Permanent Injunction restraining Defendants from performing and threatening to perform a venipuncture blood test” on her.

Brengle’s serve was never a primary weapon for her, but it has gotten much weaker of late.

According to Tennis Abstract, from the start of the 2015 until the 2016 U.S. Open, Brengle hit at least one ace in 48 of 72 tracked matches (66.6 percent) and won less than 50 percent of first-serve points only 10 times (13.9 percent). Since then, she has hit an ace in just 8 of 61 tracked matches (13.1 percent) and has won less than 50 percent of first serves 17 times (27.9 percent). Her serve speed has also dipped.

Despite her diminished serve and preoccupying pain, Brengle, a clever counterpuncher, has managed several upset victories since her diagnosis. In January of last year, she beat Serena Williams on a windswept day in Auckland. Six months later, Brengle defeated Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon, where Kvitova is a two-time champion.

“The doctors, they kept asking me: ‘How do you still play professional tennis?” Brengle said. “They don’t see a professional athlete with this disease, because it should shut you down.”

Before the lawsuit was filed, Miller would not comment on Brengle’s specific circumstances. He said some modifications were allowed in testing to make it more comfortable, including narrower needles or having the athlete lie down instead of sitting upright.

“The questions are always: what can you do to alleviate the burden of any issues a player may have while still having them comply with their obligations as a tennis player to comply with the antidoping program?” Miller said.

Brengle said she suggested alternative methods, including a suction device that pulls blood from capillaries through the skin, but Miller said that only blood from the veins had been validated for sample collection.

Blood tests have increased steadily in recent years in tennis in part because of the sport’s biological passport program, which seeks to establish baseline levels for athletes that can be tracked over time.


“You can’t have a robust antidoping program without collecting blood samples, because they provide additional detection methodologies that urine samples alone won’t,” Miller said..”

In 2013, the Serbian player Viktor Troicki was given an 18-month ban, which was later educed to 12 months, for declining a blood test at a tournament. Troicki said that he thought he could return to give the blood sample the next day without penalty.

Brengle, currently ranked 83rd, said that if she were ever forced to undergo another vein-puncturing blood test, she would retire from the sport instead.

“It would break my heart, but my health is too important,” she said.


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/sports/tennis/madison-brengle-lawsuit-blood-testing.html
 

Aussie Darcy

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
So she didn’t have a blood test for seven years but when she rose up the rankings she was subjected to them again. If she has photographic proof as she says then this could be big.
 
#50
I find this fascinating. I have never heard of this disease before. There is a lot to unpack here.

They knew about this and they continued on anyway. Terribly negligent and I definitely think this will go to Brengle. Will be interesting to see how much she gets in damages. $8 million is a bit beyond reasonable in my opinion
This is what I thought as well, but then reading the NY Times article, they claim she was diagnosed in 2016, and hasn't had a drug test since then. I think it is totally reasonable to believe that the people administering drug tests run into individuals all the time that have something bordering on an unreasonable fear of needles, and the testers try to come up with ways to take the blood, such as possibly blindfolding an individual, which will be less traumatic. In Brengle's case, it isn't too crazy to think that they were of the mindset that she didn't have anything physically wrong with her and just didn't like needles. Only in hindsight, now that she has been diagnosed, could it appear that the testers treatment of her might be considered rather draconian. On the other hand, It is also reasonable to believe that the testers were unresponsive to her needs and this lack of care caused damage to her career. I could see it either way, especially since I don't know anything about this disease. I just skimmed the NIH site on this - https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders...ets/Complex-Regional-Pain-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet , and they make it sound like a needle could cause this but it certainly isn't the most common cause (this is my interpretation and someone reading that site could come up with something totally different.) So, it is easy to see how the testers would never think there was a real physical problem here.

Another question one has to ask is, if you have a medical condition that prevents you from adhering to the rules of the sport, how is that any different than say, a knee injury, that keeps a player from competing? I guess there are medical exemptions for drug testing from certain drugs dependent on a persons medical condition and a doctor's note, but I have never heard of someone being exempted from overall testing. If she can't get tested due her medical condition, would it be fair to say, "look, a lot of athletes have had their careers cut short due to injury, this is a medical condition, if you can't adhere to the rules, we are very sorry, but you can't compete." I know, it sounds cold, but I feel we are treading on new ground here, and the idea is to keep the sport competitive under the rules, if you can't abide by them, maybe you can't play. Also, competing in professional sports is not a right under the law.

In a way this is kind of similar to both Casey Martin, the golfer, and Oscar Pistorius (before he became a murderer). They both have disabilities that came into question regarding their ability to compete at the highest level of their respective sports. In Casey Martin's case, due to Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome, he required a cart to compete on the PGA tour, which is against the rules. He sued and won a special disposition under the Americans With Disabilities act, but I have to wonder if that would have fundamentally changed the game if he was competitive and remained on the tour for longer than a year or two. As it was, he wasn't competitive and it never really became an issue.

While different types of lawsuits, as Brengle's suit is civil and she is looking for damages, this could come into play if the ITF/WTA tried to strong arm her and tell her she can't compete unless she adheres to blood testing.

Tough call.
 
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