France flank takes legal action against Clermont after retirement
NEWS: Former France flank Alexandre Lapandry announced on Monday his retirement, blaming his club Clermont for failing to take a concussion he suffered in 2020 seriously.
Lapandry’s lawyer said the 33-year-old is taking legal action against the two-time French champions.
“I did not choose to retire, the severity of my injury forces me to do so. I am still recovering and the after-effects will be with me for life,” he said in an Instagram post.
Lapandry, who played 13 times for Les Bleus between 2009 and 2018 spent his entire club career with Clermont
He suffered a concussion in a match against Stade Francais.
“I never thought that October 18, 2020 would be my last game. I would not put on my boots anymore,” he wrote.
His lawyer, Jean-Hubert Portejoie, told AFP that Lapandry had also suffered a stroke at the time and had now started a legal action after the club ended Lapandry’s contract.
One of their complaints is “involuntary violence and endangerment of the life of others… between October and December 2020, between his stroke and the time when this stroke was detected.”
“There was a lack of follow-up. In the meantime, he had even resumed training,” said the lawyer.
Portejoie also said their action was for “psychological violence… from June 2021 until his dismissal a few days ago.”
Lapandry “has not been supported and helped by his employer”.
“Everything was done to make him quit,” said Portejoie, adding that “the health of players must finally take precedence over the financial interests of clubs.”
The Clermont prosecutor Dominique Puechmaille, said on Monday she had not yet recorded any complaint.
Clermont also said they had received “no official confirmation regarding these complaints”.
“It is therefore impossible for us, materially, to respond to these accusations,” said the club, adding “the only answer we can give today is that Clermont cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever, as they have not committed the slightest fault.”
On November 23, lawyers for a group of former players, including England Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson and ex-All Black Carl Hayman but not including any elite level French professionals, said they had filed legal action in France against the national rugby bodies over concussion.