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FutureStarrOver 150 Ex-Football Rugby Players Join Concussion Lawsuit
Over 150 former football rugby players are set to join a concussion lawsuit against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and Wales Rugby Union. Lawyers Rylands Garth say the claimants contend the sports governing bodies failed to protect them from head injuries that led to neurodegenerative disorders.
One of the men taking part in this action is Dafydd James, who has been diagnosed with CTE. Another participant is Colin Gibson who suffered a brain injury back in 2006.
Over 150 former football rugby players are now suing the NFL for allegedly misleading them about the long-term effects of concussions. Lawyers representing them claim the league is following a strategy similar to that used by tobacco industry executives, concealing information about traumatic brain injuries from its own medical experts despite knowing of their potentially life-threatening potential damage in young athletes.
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Last week, she and her husband John filed a concussion lawsuit against the NFL with more than 3,000 other cases filed by players, their spouses and representatives. A review by The Associated Press uncovered 95 such cases which were consolidated before a federal judge in Philadelphia.
Over 150 former football and rugby players have joined a concussion lawsuit, alleging their respective governing bodies failed to protect them from the game's effects. This group of former athletes is the largest ever to file such a suit against its own organizations.
The group recently welcomed former Wales rugby international Dafydd James, who has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. He joins a growing number of ex-players taking legal action against World Rugby, the English and Welsh Rugby Unions, as well as the International Federation of Association Football (IFAB).
James was a prolific player, winning 48 Wales caps and playing for numerous clubs throughout England and Wales such as Scarlets, Bridgend Ravens and Pontypridd. A powerful running centre, James crossed for 23 tries during his career while touring Australia with the 2001 British and Irish Lions.
James' playing career was filled with the adrenaline of anticipation, yet it also brought with it an immense level of stress and anxiety which he is still dealing with nine years after retiring. As an advocate for mental health issues, James hopes to offer comfort to others who may be facing similar struggles.
Despite his own struggles, he believes there are some benefits to being a professional athlete. He mentions the support networks available and the sport's strong community spirit which can be helpful. But he also acknowledges there are many issues with professional sport which need to be addressed, such as its high rate of injury.
On Tuesday, lawyers representing the players announced they would be filing proceedings against World Rugby, the Rugby Football League and Welsh Rugby Union. They claim the governing bodies failed to protect them from concussion and non-concussion injuries.
They contend that these injuries caused the development of various neuro-degenerative conditions, including Parkinson's disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), epilepsy and motor neurone disease.
These assertions are supported by studies conducted in France and South Africa that suggest repeated concussion can cause brain damage over time. These injuries may result in cognitive decline, depression and chronic pain - all of which could be neurological consequences.
Colin Gibson, a former winger and full-back for Aston Villa, Manchester United and Leicester City, has joined the growing number of ex-football rugby players who have filed concussion lawsuits. His claims include that World Rugby, the RFU and Welsh Rugby Union should have done more to safeguard players against injuries caused by repeated blows to the head.
Rylands Law, the firm representing the players, said this case was "the largest ever class action involving brain injury in any sport". Estimates suggest the claim could be worth over PS300 million.
According to a statement from the law firm, more than 150 former football rugby players have filed a concussion claim against "World Rugby, RFU and WRU" on behalf of themselves. Notable names include England World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson; England flanker Michael Lipman; and Wales flanker Alix Popham.
The former St Helens forward has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and probable CTE. After his diagnosis, he expressed frustration at the lack of support for retired players with dementia; thus he wrote an article for The Guardian detailing his experience.
He stated: "It can be challenging to discuss issues like this because people may not understand. So I felt it necessary to share my story with the public in order to provide comfort to those suffering."
Gibson's remarks come amid the recent revelation that former Aston Villa midfielder John Deehan, 58, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and his wife also suffers from it. They have been married for many years and have four children between them.
According to some experts, the dementia symptoms experienced by former footballers may be similar to those experienced by people suffering from Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Therefore, the Professional Footballers Association recently launched a major consultation exercise in an effort to gain more insight into how dementia may impact footballers.
More than 35 former rugby players have previously shared their struggles with brain damage, including former Wales captain Ryan Jones, England World Cup winner Steve Thompson and New Zealand prop Carl Hayman. Now the lawyers representing these athletes have launched a pre-action phase in an effort to reach an early settlement to prevent the matter from escalating further and leading to trial.
Over 150 former rugby players have joined a class action lawsuit against World Rugby and the rugby governing bodies of England and Wales in response to their claim that they weren't adequately protected from repeated head injuries. All are suffering from brain damage, neurological impairments such as early onset dementia, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), epilepsy and Parkinson's disease due to this negligence.
Rylands Legal has been representing a group of former professional rugby union and rugby league players, including 2003 World Cup winner Steve Thompson, former All Black Carl Hayman and ex-Wales captain Ryan Jones.
Many of the claimants have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy and experienced symptoms such as dementia, incontinence, memory loss, aggression, drug and alcohol addiction and suicide attempts. The lawsuit alleges that defendants were aware of the potential hazards associated with repetitive head injuries but failed to take reasonable measures to safeguard their players from these risks - leading to brain injury among other injuries.
Reports indicate the lawyers are prepping to submit their letters of claim to World Rugby, the RFU and WRU next week. It's estimated that this letter of claim could cost the governing bodies millions in damages.
Rylands Legal lawyers contend that World Rugby was aware of the risks associated with repeated head injuries but failed to take sufficient measures to safeguard its players, leading to permanent injury and brain damage. To this end, Rylands Legal is bringing a series of test cases against each governing body as well as the Rugby Football League (RFL).
Steve Thompson is one of eight former rugby players who have joined the concussion lawsuit. According to his legal team, he has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and probable CTE.
He says he cannot recall winning the 2003 World Cup or his wife Steph or their children at all, according to Insider. As he battled with this illness, his family placed him on suicide watch.
He played for Northampton Casuals, Leeds Carnegie, Wasps and Brive before retiring in 2007. Unfortunately his career was cut short when he suffered a neck injury playing against Biarritz. Subsequently diagnosed with dementia, which has taken its toll on his memory; at times he's even forgotten the names of his kids!