San Diego Charger’s team doctor, David Chao, has been at the center of controversy for his tainted past and history of medical malpractice. Despite the allegations against him however, he has been cleared. Those in opposition to him being cleared say he should be fired from the Chargers because of his past.
In 2012, a medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against Chao, claiming that he told the plaintiff to use a mechanized cryotherapy device, the Polar Care 500, following surgery to clean debris from her knee in 2003. According to the suit, Chao advised the patient to use the cryotherapy device continuously and as such as possible, even though he knew it could result in severe non-freezing cold injuries.
The plaintiff filed the medical malpractice lawsuit after suffering these types of injuries and discovering that the same thing happened to another one of Chao’s patients in 1998. That patient almost had to have his leg amputated due to the non-freezing cold injuries he suffered. The plaintiff was awarded $5,696,220 in damages.
Chao has also been accused of negligence in several other lawsuits. Two lawsuits were filed and dropped against Chao on behalf of professional football players. Another lawsuit was filed in 2002 on behalf of a plaintiff who alleged Chao severed her artery during surgery. She was awarded $460,000 in damages.
Chao’s rocky history has created controversy. Due to his checkered past, the NFLPA requested a review of his qualifications in 2012. He was cleared by an independent panel of three doctors, but those in opposition say he should not have been cleared.