Retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. was awarded a $2.7-million judgment in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena May 7 related to the treatment of injuries he suffered in a riding accident March 1, 2003, according to his attorney.
Los Angeles attorney Neil Papiano said the jury in the civil case Pincay brought against Huntington Ambulance Service found for the plaintiff after a three-week trial. "This was a justifiable result for the circumstances and the lack of treatment," said Papiano. "The jury found that, with proper treatment, Laffit would still be riding today."
Reed Smith, attorney for Huntington Ambulance Service, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The case came out of the career-ending injury the legendary Pincay, now 60, suffered while riding Trampus Too in a race down Santa Anita Park's downhill turf course in Arcadia, Calif. After Pincay's mount clipped heels with another horse, Trampus Too went down and Pincay, the all-time leading jockey by wins at the time, was thrown forward over the horse's head. The horse subsequently rolled on top of him.
According to the original lawsuit, Papiano claimed that the ambulance should have taken Pincay to a local hospital. "Huntington Ambulance failed to follow appropriate procedures following a serious collision…the ambulance group permitted Pincay to walk under his own power to the ambulance and then to the first aid station operated by Santa Anita.
"He was met there by Angel Delgadillo, who wore a white lab coat identical to those worn by physicians. Pincay was unaware that Delgadillo was not a physician, but a physician's assistant. A doctor was never present in the first aid room at any time during the examination."
The suit claimed that Delgadillo did not try to stabilize the injury, which proved to be two broken bones in Pincay's neck. In addition, it charged Delgadillo did not order any X-rays or blood work. The suit claims that although Pincay told Delgadillo he could not move his head and was experiencing severe pain, Delgadillo manipulated the jockey's head from side to side, then told Pincay he was not seriously injured.
Stacy O'Bryan, general manager of Huntington Ambulance Service, denied the claims. "I feel confident in saying that (Pincay) was treated professionally and exactly according to state law," O'Bryan said.
According to Papiano, Santa Anita Park, which was also named as a defendant, settled previously with Pincay, who never rode again after the accident. He officially retired in May 2003 with 9,530 victories and more than $237 million in purse earnings. Russell Baze recently surpassed Pincay's mark for most wins.