Nearly 300 former rugby union players are suing World Rugby and the English and Welsh federations for poor treatment of the consequences of concussions.
Former rugby greats joining an already long list… Mark Regan and Phil Vickery, members of England’s victorious 2003 World Cup team, and former Wales center and British and Irish Lions, Gavin Henson, are among the few 300 former rugby players sue three governing bodies over neurological problems.
295 former rugby union players are suing World Rugby, the English (Rugby Football Union) and Welsh (Welsh Rugby Union) Federations for failing to put in place adequate measures to protect the health and safety of players.
The former world champion Steve Thompson (ped by Brive) and the former captain of the XV du Poireau, Ryan Jones, were already part of this list of complainants, which also involves the Welshman Colin Charvis and Sean Lamont, selected more than 100 times for Scotland.
The names of more than 200 plaintiffs were made public this Friday, after a judge ruled that the former players must wait until next year for their request for a cl settlement order – which would mean that individual trials can be managed together – be examined.
“Player welfare is rugby’s first priority and will continue to be”
World Rugby, the WRU and the RFU said in a joint statement after Friday’s hearing: “While today’s hearing on the handling of the case was necessarily about the legal process, we must not forget the people and players at the heart of this matter. The legal action prevents us from supporting the players involved, many of whom are being named publicly for the first time today.»
“But we want them to know that we care deeply about their struggles, that we listen to them and that they are members of the rugby family, adds the declaration of instances. Player welfare is rugby’s first priority and will continue to be. Rugby is committed to leading the welfare agenda in sport, drawing on evolving science and research to protect and support players at all levels.»
At stake, “several tens of millions” of pounds sterling
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Susan Rodway, said in court filings that governing bodies “should have known the likelihood of long-term neurological complications from accumulating blows to the head with or without concussion“.
This alleged breach caused disorders such as motor neurone disease, dementia praecox, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
She added that some of the individual cases, in which players are suing for loss of income and cost of care, could be evaluated “to several tens of millions» of pounds sterling.