What impact will the studies into concussion have on the risk of litigation from rugby players?
The purpose of the study is to ascertain whether there is evidence that rugby related head injuries have long-term health effects.
The Scottish Rugby Union study has received support from the International Rugby Board3 and former Scottish Rugby captains; Gordon Bulloch and Chris Paterson have taken part in the study.4 The Head Injury Research Group of the University is conducting the research.
Dr. Willie Stewart, the Glasgow Consultant neuropathologist, gave evidence at the inquest in Dublin into the death of former Lansdowne prop forward Kenny Nuzum. In June of this year, the Coroner found that Mr. Nuzum’s death had been caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease caused by repeated head trauma.5
The topic of the effect of concussive head injuries in sport has been a prominent one in the last few years. In August 2013, a tentative $765 million settlement was reached in a class action brought by some 4,500 former NFL players alleging that the league had concealed the dangers of concussion whilst rushing injured players back onto the field.6 The first lawsuit in that litigation commenced in August 2011. There are now legal challenges to the proposed settlement and the first challenge was due to be heard on 10 September 2014.7 There are wider issues in the NFL litigation than the concussion claims themselves; it embraces allegations of professional negligence against the NFL and claims against the helmet manufacture Riddel for allegedly withholding evidence and denying the risk of head injuries to the players.
Continue reading this article...
Already a member? Sign in
Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts. Find out more here.
- Tags: Concussion | Contract Law | Employment Law | England | Governance | National Football League (NFL) | Regulation | Rugby | Scottish Rugby Football Union | The FA | United Kingdom (UK) | United States of America (USA)
- Concussion awareness, crowd trouble, and European deal signed
- American football helmet maker Riddell attempts to dismiss class action concussion suit
- Canadian health organizations’ call for concussion protocols to protect those participating in high risk sports
- Moore & Bertuzzi officially reach an agreement: NHL violence avoids spotlight for now
David Reade Q.C is a commercial litigator at Littleton Chambers with a wide base of experience of sports based disputes, particularly in the field of managerial and player disputes. He recently successfully appeared for Crystal Palace FC in the Court of Appeal.