SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Kyle Turner of the Rabbitohs is assisted from the field after a concussion during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on August 2, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitry Lawyers, Bannister Law and Cahill Lawyers have joined forces against the NRL and their handling of head knocks, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

It adds to the spotlight that has been on the league as the law firms have been talking to former players regarding their brain health.

Seven players are required to launch a class action and all three of the firms are confident they'll be able to field the required numbers.

Mitry Lawyers already have opened class actions against Northern Beaches Hospital and the Newcastle Light Rail and have funding behind them ready for a concussion campaign.

“My interest in the area goes back to the days when I was playing with some people now complaining about the effects they have as a result of receiving concussions when they were playing,” Mitry Lawyers partner Rick Mitry told The Sydney Morning Herald. 

“We’ve spoken to a few players and we feel it is imperative that somebody does something. We’ll get a small group together who have a commonality with these injuries and background. We’ve had experience with three or four class actions over the last few years."

“Players who wouldn’t be able to afford this due to their circumstances, because it is a big action, will get free legal representation to fund their costs,” Mitry Lawyers coordinator Barry Tilley said.

“It’s a national problem that has been going on for years and the organisations themselves haven’t abided by their duty of care.”

Researchers discovered in late June that some former rugby league players had a degenerative brain condition which linked to their time in the NRL.

The research was similar to the findings of an American NFL study in 2017 that has resulted in approximately US$500 million being paid out to the affected players. That number is likely to increase, however, the NFL had a larger issue by hiding some of their problems in the past.

Only two NRL players have taken action against their former clubs but with these recent public actions, that number is likely to rise with more support.

“We will also allege that ARL, NRL and the clubs have had the resources both medical and paramedical to understand and implement protocols and policies that could and should have protected player welfare long before they were introduced," said Charles Bannister, the Principal of Bannister Law.

2 COMMENTS

  1. WOW …There is any number of precedents that preclude lawsuits based on updated medical information. However, in this instance – players have been aware of the long term effects of repeated concussion injuries for some time. Why the NRL has not made the wearing of headgear mandatory, or done the necessary research into appropriate protective measures is where any lawsuit would take ground. More alarming is how this will impact on the junior participation as parents become more aware of the long term effects of repeated head knocks. This will be a monster issue going forward.

  2. Hope they have their backsides kicked, this organisation is not proactive in anything it does, from judicial aspects, players contracts, expansion, welfare, refs, rules ! The current lot are a joke!

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