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Six Nations 2019, Super Bowl 53 And Concussion4th Feb 2019

Concussion In Rugby

Even before Six Nations 2019 got under way there was a concussion controversy: Wales full back Leigh Halfpenny was ruled out of the start.

In November Halfpenny had sustained his fourth concussion in six years. He is starting to show symptoms such as headaches.

National teams and clubs have a duty of care to their players.

Keeping them on the field or returning them to play too early after a concussion injury risks leaving them with permanent damage: Post-Concussion Syndrome.

Never forget…concussion is a brain injury.

Rugby Concussion Legal Action: Cudmore vs Clermont

Last month it was reported that retired Canada international Jamie Cudmore is pursuing legal action in France against his former club Clermont.

He says they adversely affecting his health by forcing him to play on during a match following a head injury. Clermont has denied any liability.

In recent years, rugby has been treating concussion more seriously than ever. It has a strict protocol detailing when and how players who have sustained head injuries should be safely returned to play.

World Rugby and the French Rugby Federation are discussing how best to help prevent concussions in the sport. Their next meeting is due on March 19.

Flagship tournaments such as the Six Nations are a crucial test of how strictly teams adhere to the principles of the current concussion protocol.

It is one thing to rest a player for two weeks at the start of a tournament.

But what happens when a tournament reaches its closing stages? Will teams be tempted to cut corners when a vital player risks missing a make-or-break match due to suspected concussion?

Only time will tell.

Superbowl LIII, Concussion In American Football

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski made a stunning catch to help his team secure the only touchdown of Super Bowl LIII and beat the LA Rams 13-3.

‘The Gronk’ has sustained a long catalogue of injuries. They include cranial concussions in January 2018 and December 2013.

Concussion remains a huge issue in American football. America’s NFL agreed to pay $1 billion (£670 million) to former players diagnosed with brain injuries.

This headline-grabbing settlement has effectively opened the door for Post Concussion Syndrome compensation claims in other sports around the world.

Concussion In Horseracing Jockeys

Horseracing has also recognised the issue of concussion. Three times champion jump jockey Richard Dunwoody was among the early volunteers for a Concussion in Sport research programme.

And while the initial stages focused on retired jockeys, the research will have important ramifications for all sports affected by concussion.

Sports governing bodies now realise – quite sensibly – that it’s a nettle they cannot fail to grasp.

How Will Smith Publicised Concussion In Sport

Concussion in sport has been a mainstream issue for a number of years now and will remain in the headlines.

Two years ago the Will Smith movie Concussion hit the big screen in the UK. By the time the film premiered, its YouTube trailer had already received more than 14 million views.

This Ridley Scott film pushed the issue of Post-Concussion Syndrome even higher up the news agenda – resulting in greater media coverage and potentially more compensation claims.


Get Expert Legal Advice

Have you or someone you know been affected by concussion?

Get specialist legal advice from Coles Miller litigation executive and former rugby international Crispin Cormack, 01202 355695.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.