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Rylands is pursuing a claim on behalf of individuals with brain injuries who have played rugby union. We represent adult players of all levels, i.e. professional men and women, as well as amateur. If you have suffered brain injuries as a result of playing rugby, please complete the sign-up form to join the group claim.
Case against World Rugby and various national governing bodies (the defendants)
Frequently Asked Questions
In this case, Rylands is representing a group of claimants who are seeking to obtain compensation from World Rugby and various rugby governing bodies as a result of their alleged failure to protect the adult rugby playing community from concussive and sub-concussive injuries.
Subconcussive hits are those that are below the concussion threshold: the brain is shaken, but not so violently that the damage to brain cells is severe enough to see through symptoms. Rugby players are particularly susceptible to such hits because they are involved in so many rucks, tackles, carries, mauls, scrums etc. A rugby player who has had a 10, 15 year career is likely to have suffered tens of thousands of such blows.
Yes. A brain is a brain; it doesn’t matter whether you’re an international player or you played for the Dog & Duck 3rd XI. We believe the defendants owe a duty of care to anybody that plays a formal game of rugby union.
Each person is different, but the same symptoms appear time and time again, whether that’s memory loss, shortness of temper, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, an inability to concentrate, vertigo, incontinence, addiction to alcohol or drugs, and others.
There are two main reasons:
1) We want to help players in retirement by getting them a diagnosis plus financial support for their families; and
2) To help change the game and make it safer for current and future generations.
Where a large number of people have claims against the same defendant arising out of the same set of circumstances, the most cost effective way of bringing the claim is for the claimants to join forces and progress as a group under a Group Litigation Order (“GLO”). The GLO allows the claims to be heard together rather than on an individual basis making it far more efficient.
We believe the defendants owe a duty of care to anybody that has played a formal game of rugby union. We have over 20 allegations, including the failure to regulate contact in training; the failure to create adequate concussion protocols, and the decision to shorten the return to play (following a concussion) from three-weeks in 1980 to six days in 2011.
We are therefore proposing to issue proceedings against the defendants for their failure to care for the rugby playing community with regards to traumatic brain injuries.
It is too early to be able to give an accurate prediction of the timescale to conclude this matter to a satisfactory outcome. This is because the length of time depends on the defendants’ approach. If the defendants seek to settle the claim, then the case should conclude relatively quickly. If, however, it is necessary to progress the matter through trial, the case could take longer than two years.
We believe the game has insurance in place to pay out damages for any such injuries.
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