Former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Seyi Olonfinjana is being sued by a fellow Championship star over a ‘negligent’ tackle which left the player seriously injured.
Nottingham Forest striker and former England youth international, Dexter Blackstock, aged 27, is seeking compensation from Seya Olofinjana and his former club, Cardiff City, over a tackle in November 2010, which put him out of the game for 15 months with a ‘horrific’ knee injury.
Blackstock claims Olonfinjana, then playing for Cardiff, was ‘negligent’ in ‘failing to play the ball’ and ‘challenging in a way that caused a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury’ in the 88th minute of the game.
Blackstock had scored in the League match between Nottingham Forest and Cardiff on November 2010 before being stretchered off following the tackle, which prompted his manager, Billy Davies, to call for an official complaint. Forest won the game 2-0.
Davies called the injury Blackstock suffered ‘horrific’, while Cardiff’s then manager, former Owls boss Dave Jones, insisted there had been ‘no intent’ in the challenge, despite its devastating results.
Now Blackstock, of Popplewick, Nottingham, has lodged a writ at London’s High Court, seeking damages for being deprived of the chance of earning bonuses for 15 months, as well as the right to further compensation should the injury end his career early.
Jonathan Crystal, Blackstock’s barrister, claims Olofinjana ‘played Mr Blackstock rather than the ball’ and ‘raised his foot’ in the challenge, ‘forcefully striking’ his opponent’s shin and calf and ‘failing to control his momentum’.
Blackstock suffered ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ and Mr Crystal alleges the manner of the tackle carried with it ‘a reasonably foreseeable risk of substantial injury to him’.
He said: “The medical reports detail a significant chance that, at some point in the future, Mr Blackstock’s knee will deteriorate further, or he will suffer further injury as a result of the existing condition of his knee which will impact upon his ability to play professional football.
“In the event that this occurs, Mr Blackstock will be entitled to apply for further damages.”
The contents of the writ have yet to be tested in evidence before a judge.
Olinfinjana made 13 appearances for Wednesday over two loan spells last year.