Athlete Blames Soccer League for Paralysis

     (CN) – A rising young soccer star who played for the United States Adult Soccer Association claims in a lawsuit that he became permanently disabled due to the organization’s failure to properly examine and train amateur players.
     In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade County, plaintiff Ruben Arturo Quetglas describes himself as being an agile goalie while he growing up, so much so that at 22 he was attending college on a full soccer scholarship.
     Quetglas says that in pursuit of his soccer dreams, in December 2013 he attended tryouts for Miami United FC’s, the regional league for amateur adult soccer managed and affiliated by the United States Adult Soccer Association or USASA. After completing the try outs period, Quetgas was advised by the president and CEO of Miami United, Roberto Sacca, that he had made the adult’s men team.
     Quetglas claims that the USASA never requested him to submit or go through a physical examination to assess his fitness level and for participation in the team’s games.
     Nevertheless, Quetglas says he was invited to attend the team’s first official practice at Milander Park in Hialeah, Fla. on January 7, 2014.
     “Despite the fact that plaintiff had no prior experience playing soccer with a premier league against professional-level players, Ruben was placed in a defensive posture against veteran members,” the complaint says.
     During the first few minutes of the practice, plaintiff claims that he participated in a series of warm-up drills without the supervision of his coach, Miguel Mesa, or any other of the team’s staff. He alleges that they failed to ensure the safety of the players, and a reasonable conduct of the participants.
     Quetglas says that during the warm-up drills he was aggressively side-tackled by teammate, Juan Sebastian Alfonso, when he jumped up to block a ball. The unexpected collision caused him to flip upside down, and land on his neck.
     Contrary to appropriate safety practices following a potential injury, Quetglas says that he “was improperly moved and/or repositioned before the arrival of the first emergency responders.”
     He claims that due to defendants’ negligence he suffered debilitating injuries to his cervical spine resulting in incomplete quadriplegia, and is now permanently disabled in a wheelchair.
     According to the complaint, it was only afterwards, that Quetglas learned he suffered from a pre-existing condition which contributed to his injuries, and that defendant didn’t discover due to its failure to practice a thorough health screen of plaintiff before accepting him on the team.
     Quetglas seeks compensatory damages on claims of negligence and vicarious liability.
     He is represented by Elisabeth Culmo from Silva & Silva in Coral Gables, Fla.
     A representative from the United States Adult Soccer Association said that the organization does not comment on pending lawsuits.

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