Irish star set to launch concussion case against IRFU
NEWS: The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is the latest organisation facing a concussion lawsuit as a number of former Irish players are taking a case over serious brain injuries allegedly suffered during their playing careers.
According to the Irish Times, proceedings are set to be issued before October.
The news comes two days after separate proceedings against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union were due to be issued at court in the UK by Rylands Law on behalf of a group of professional and semi-professional players against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Rylands represents more than 185 rugby players aged in their 30s, 40s and 50s and the case involves people diagnosed with early-onset dementia and other irreversible neurological impairments.
Client confidentiality meant that the number of individuals involved in the new proceedings in Ireland and their names were undisclosed, according to the report.
Dublin-based solicitors firm Maguire McClafferty LLP are taking the case and senior partner Manus McClafferty said: “There are Irish players involved, yes.
“I can tell you that proceedings are prepared and will, probably, be issued, I believe, by the end of September. I have them ready.”
Asked what the health issues were, McClafferty added: “Yes, very much so [similar types of issues as the UK players]. CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy].
“Exactly the same. Once the proceedings issue then they just have to take their course. The timeline will be decided very much by the IRFU, the way in which they approach the cases.
“We can go the long route or go the other route.
“It is up to the IRFU.”
In the UK case, the claimants, who include former Wales captain Ryan Jones and England’s 2003 World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson, will argue that the sport’s governing bodies were negligent in that they failed to take reasonable action to protect players from permanent injury caused by repetitive concussive and sub-concussive blows.
A recent Rylands statement read: “This claim isn’t just about financial compensation; it is also about making the game safer and ensuring current and former players get tested so that if they are suffering a brain injury, they can get the clinical help they need.
“The players we represent love the game. We aim to challenge the current perceptions of the governing bodies, to reach a point where they accept the connection between repetitive blows to the head and permanent neurological injury and to take steps to protect players and support those who are injured.”
By Liam Heagney, Rugbypass