Former Timbers goalkeeper files $10.2M lawsuit against team physicians



Former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has filed a $10.2 million lawsuit against two team physicians, claiming that they ended his soccer career through surgical mistakes.

Jake Gleeson smiling for the camera: Jake Gleeson (Courtesy: Kafoury & McDougal)© Provided by KPTV Portland

Jake Gleeson (Courtesy: Kafoury & McDougal)

In the lawsuit, Gleeson accuses Dr. Richard Edelson, Dr. Jonathan Greenleaf, Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center and Oregon Sports Medicine Associates of committing medical malpractice and battery by “selecting aggressive and risky procedures” to repair bilateral stress fractures of his tibias.

The lawsuit also claims the defendants failed to properly sterilize the metal implants inserted into Gleeson’s tibias and failed to remove a metal implant when it became infected.  According to the lawsuit, Gleeson was diagnosed with tibial stress fractures in August of 2018 after developing shin pain.

The lawsuit states that in the week of his diagnosis, Gleeson “underwent elective bilateral internal fixation with plates and screws and bone marrow harvesting surgical procedure” by Dr. Richard Edelson. After the surgery, Gleeson’s lawyers say his right tibia became severely infected and he developed osteomyelitis.

About a month later, Dr. Greenleaf performed surgery on Gleeson’s right tibia to drain the infection. The lawsuit claims Dr. Greenleaf made an error by not removing the metal plate that caused the infection.

Gleeson’s lawyers say that later it became apparent that both of the goalkeeper’s shins were infected.

The lawsuit states that Dr. Edelson performed another surgery on Oct. 18 2018 and removed the metal plate and screws from Gleeson’s left tibia.

According to the lawsuit, Sports Medicine Oregon physicians performed 11 separate surgeries on Gleeson’s right tibia and three on his left tibia due to continual reinfections.

Gleeson’s lawyers allege that he was “stranded on his home couch for weeks” after each surgery. They also allege that “his body often shook and vomited from debilitating pain, by day and night. Regularly, this pain stopped him from getting to the closest bathroom or sleeping.”

Gleeson, a New Zealand native, joined the Timbers in 2011 as an original member of the MLS team. He also competed for his home country from 2007 to 2018, at the London Olympics and FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea.

According to his lawyers, Gleeson cannot run or jump without debilitating pain. They claim he will “never put on his gloves and play in a soccer game again.”

Thanks to KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation