Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mago Counsel Seeks Expedition Of Trial Date Due To Visa Concerns

An interesting issue was recently raised in a letter to the Court from plaintiff's counsel Paul Edelstein in the Magomed Abdusalamov ("Mago") case.  Edelstein is trying to secure a trial date for Mago in New York Supreme Court, Kings County, before he has to file a petition for another extension of his visa to stay in the United States.  The major concern is whether Mago will be granted another visa extension in order to stay in the US for the trial.  The Court has currently scheduled the case for a trial assignment conference on July 16, 2019.  Edelstein is requesting a trial date prior to June 2019, the deadline for submission of the next visa extension application. 

If you are unfamiliar with Mago's case, he was injured by hard forearm to the face in the first round in his bout with Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2013.  Mago went the distance with Perez but lost in a very physical and competitive bout.  Commission doctors examined him in his dressing room and allowed him to leave the arena. Soon after leaving, he started vomiting and was taken via taxi to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. He was placed in an induced coma and had surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain.

Mago, 38, is currently paralyzed on the right side of his body.  His speech is severely impaired and doctors have stated he may never walk again.

Mago was originally granted a P-1 work status visa as an internationally recognized athlete, presumably in early 2009 when he first fought in the US.  Once he was injured in the Perez fight, he petitioned and was granted a B-2 visa - which is a tourist visa.  Edelstein states in the letter that the change in status was granted due in large part to his need to participate in the pending lawsuit and his serious medical needs.  The B-2 has been repeatedly extended each time for a six-month period.  The December 2018 petition for extension has not yet been decided on.

Edelstein is particularly concerned about Mago's visa status because his case has been transferred to an office in Nebraska.  The office has a more "conservative reputation" than the prior office in Vermont.

The suit was originally filed in 2014 and named many members of the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the promoter K2 and the venue MSG.  All defendants have been dismissed except for the ringside doctors who were working that night.  Mago's attorneys first filed a note of issue with the Court, signaling they are ready for trial, on June 29, 2017. 

See the letter to the Court below:

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