Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Rugby league players considering class action over NRL’s approach to concussion

Rugby league players considering class action over NRL’s approach to concussion
July 4, 2019

Former rugby league players are reportedly considering a class action lawsuit against the NRL over the game’s historic treatment of concussions.

Two Sydney law firms – Bannister Law and Cahill Lawyers – have revealed they are investigating the code’s liability for “reasonably preventable brain injuries” suffered by former players.

Charles Bannister, Principal of Bannister Law, said the firms have been investigating “the root causes of post-retirement medical issues among numerous former NRL players” for the past 12 months, with a view to a possible class action.

Bannister advised “the structures that have evolved within the NRL through the progression of the game mean that we are looking at the clubs’ and associations’ liability for what are, we will allege, reasonably preventable brain injuries.

“We will also allege that ARL, NRL and the clubs have had the resources both medical and paramedical to understand and implement protocols and policies that could and should have protected player welfare long before they were introduced.”

The potential lawsuit could see both the NRL and AFL face similar legal action.

Greg Griffin, Managing Partner of Griffins Lawyers, said he had been preparing a class action against the AFL for about five years.

Griffin told AAP on Wednesday “we are way down the track.

“I would say it’s imminent. The next stage is getting things into the court system. There is a raft of claims.”

The two law firms investigating the potential class action say they have been in touch with “many senior players over an extended period, all of whom have serious concerns about their brain health” and were investigating “the root causes of post-retirement medical issues among numerous former NRL players”.

The lawsuit would look at whether the rules imposed by the code took “sufficient steps to protect players against concussion incidents”, as well as whether those rules were “actually implemented” to “allow players time to recover from concussion incidents without sustaining permanent injury”.

The code’s historic treatment of concussion has been subject to increased scrutiny following the discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, in two former rugby league players.

Researchers and clinicians from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW Health and the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre made the discovery in two donated brains from middle-aged former professionals who played more than 150 NRL games over many years.

The recently released findings follow concerns from former players over a number of years about the long-term impacts of concussions suffered while playing.

Ian Roberts, a former Australian and NSW representative forward who played during the 1980s and 90s, has frequently spoken about the toll of what he estimates were more than a dozen concussions suffered playing the game.

Last year, 25 retired NRL players took part in a further study into the effects of repeated concussions on the brain, which found repeated head injuries suffered during their careers had left them with long-term impairments.

While in the US former NFL players have previously brought lawsuits against the sport’s administrators over concussions suffered while playing, the discovery of the disease in two former NRL players has prompted a renewed focus of the game’s handling of concussion.

After the report’s release, former Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling announced he would donate his brain to science, while other players revealed their own concerns about the toll of playing the code had taken.

Speaking after the report’s release last week, former Brisbane Broncos and Queensland representative forward Corey Parker said on Fox Sports that he “had moments” where he worried about the impact of his playing career on his health.

Parker commented “to be very honest I’ve had moments where I’ve had concerns, so much so that I’ve initiated conversations (about) going and have some checks done.

“You put up that wall of ‘I’ll be OK, I’ll be OK’ until such time that you do go and have a test or have some scans done … it is the greatest game but along with that comes a price at times.”

Related Articles

27th June 2019 - Research reveals ‘unequivocal’ evidence of CTE in former rugby league players’ brains


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

PULSETEC SOLUTIONS

PulseTec Solutions is a leading provider of software systems and solutions to the health and fitness industry for more than a decade. Our key products and services include ClientConnect studio and…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Technology / Venues

 
 
 

Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks

 
 

NOVOFIT

NovoFit is an exciting and dynamic new company born from two of Australia’s leading commercial fitness equipment suppliers. NovoFit combines over 45 years of industry expertise, delivering state…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

SGL GROUP

SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

AEROBIC MICROPHONES AUSTRALIA

Aerobic Microphones Australia provides audio products for the fitness industry. Products include the sweat resistant Cyclemic and Aeromic headworn microphones and pouchbelts that are made in…

read more

Fitness / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business