Why former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson is suing club’s doctors

As the Portland Timbers are currently in Orlando, Florida training ahead of the resumption of the MLS season, one former player has filed a lawsuit against two of the team’s doctors on Monday.¬†

Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who signed by the MLS Timbers on Feb. 17, 2011¬†after a standout 2010 season with the club’s development team, the Portland Timbers U-23s, made 67 appearances in all competitions for Portland and helped the club to an MLS Cup title in 2015.

Gleeson is seeking over $10 million in economic and noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice.

The defendants are Sports Medicine Oregon and Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center.

In an interview with ESPN, the 30-year-old, who is now retired, said the doctors named in the suit “took my life, took my livelihood, and what I dedicated my life to do, and kind of just left me there to pick up the pieces. It’s been absolutely crippling, devastating. I wouldn’t wish the last two years of my life on anyone.”

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In summer of 2008, Gleeson suffered stress fractures in both tibias. The Timbers’ team doctors recommended that metal plates be inserted into both shins.

Here is what the court filing stated:

– The plates weren’t properly sterilized before surgery

– “Breach of sterility” at Oregon Outpatient Center (Gleeson was unaware)

– The doctors selected “aggressive” and “risky procedures” without attempting more conservative therapies first

– “No clear orthopedic necessity to implant the devices”

In September, Gleeson had developed an infection in both his legs and both the metal plates were removed.

According to reports, Gleeson sought out new doctors and was diagnosed with necrosis and osteomyelitis in both of his shins, which meant that portions of the bone became infected and died.

“I’ve had my career taken from me, I’ve had the job that I love more than anything taken from me and a big aspect of my life taken from me,” Gleeson told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “I’m physically not the same. I’m emotionally not the same and I just would like to understand why and how someone could do this. I can’t go through my life not telling this story. (I need to bring) attention to this to prevent this from happening to anyone else.”

Why former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson is suing club’s doctors originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest