Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Perhaps the biggest piece of Rugby news we've heard all year was reported this morning by the Daily Mail in correlation to an absolute bombshell of a lawsuit. It has been reported that 70 former professionals have asked a huge British law firm to sue unions over head injuries (largely concussions), claiming that they have suffered greatly from migraines, depression, dementia and amnesia. We've seen similar class-action lawsuits in the NFL and WWE previously, both of which were shaken to the core and revitalised with new strict protocols and a new outlook on player welfare (not to mention the immense litigation outcomes).
One notable name included within the lawsuit is that of Michael Lipman, the former England international and Bath flanker who has now suffered with symptoms of mild dementia at just 40 years old. It is also rumoured that Mouritz Botha has confirmed his involvement in the campaign, as he too was forced to retire due to concussion. Even kiwi-legend Carl Hayman is rumoured to have made contact with British based lawyers to follow through with this lawsuit.
It's impossible to say what comes next for World Rugby in response to the lawsuit/allegations, but it is important to look upon history and how in other sports, a lawsuit of this size, has rocked the respective games perspective on healthcare and study. Just look at what happened with the NFL and how Boston University then contributed to the biggest ever study in American Football brain injuries producing new medical revelations that we see across sport today.
What are your thoughts on the lawsuit? We will be sure to provide updates as soon as we receive them!
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