Lawsuit Filed After Death of Milwaukee Kickboxer

Dennis Munson Jr., an amateur kickboxer, died hours after his first official fight in the ring nearly three years ago.  Boxing, kick boxing, ‘UFC’, martial arts, and other similar sports can be extremely dangerous and therefore have doctors, referees, and coaches that are trained to watch for warning signs.  However, Dennis did not seem to receive any of the required, official support that he needed while fighting in Milwaukee. 

His family has recently sued “the ringside doctor, the promoter from the Roufusport (the gym where Dennis trained) and others they say were at fault for his death.”  The lawsuit claims that those “responsible for Munson’s safety failed in their duty to protect him during the unregulated bout by, for instance, failing to require fighters to wear protective headgear and not stopping the fight as the 24-year-old staggered around the ring.”  The suit is seeking unspecified damages for their son’s death and claims that the defendants “were negligent and showed maliciousness and ‘deliberate indifference.'”

The family is hoping to obtain accountability for their son’s death.  Jonathan Safran is representing his parent’s in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.  Dennis Munson Sr. hopes to make the sport safer for the athletes, he told reporters, “I’m heartbroken my son is gone…I pray to the good Lord no one else gets hurt in that sport.” 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel conducted an investigation and found a string of errors done by officials during the fight.  Officials “failed to stop the match despite what a dozen independent experts who reviewed the fight video said were obvious signs of distress.”

The ring side doctor was consistently distracted with his cell phone while one of Dennis’ coaches propped him up between rounds and seemingly slapping him into consciousness.  Throughout the entire event, the referee, Al Wichgers, failed to evaluate the situation and recognize the very clear assistance Dennis needed.  After the final bell rang, Dennis fell to the mat, when officials were debating if he needed medical attention.  Instead of him being taken to the Level 1 trauma center, Dennis was taken to Aurora Sinai Medical Center.  According to the medical examiner, Dennis died hours later from “complications as a result of head trauma.”

During Munson’s fight, Wisconsin “regulated boxing and mixed martial arts…but did not regulate kickboxing.”  After the investigation was conducted, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill closing the loophole that once let these organizations hold unregulated fights.


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