Rugby Football League to be sued by former players over brain damage
Posted on 7th February 2023 at 14:41
A group of 75 ex rugby league players have launched a legal action against the sport over brain injuries, which includes ex Great Britain scrum half Bobbie Goulding who has been diagnosed with dementia and possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy – known as boxers’ brain. The action is against the sport’s ruling body, the Rugby Football League (‘RFL’). It is claimed that the RFL failed to take reasonable steps to protect players from permanent brain injury caused by repetitive blows. This is in addition to around 200 rugby union players who launched a claim earlier last year against their own governing body.
This development coincides with a report from the University of Glasgow which stated that former international rugby union players are 15 times more likely to suffer the effects of motor neurone disease, three times more likely to suffer Parkinson’s Disease and 267 per cent more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease than the general population.
Studies into other sports involving repeated head impacts, such as in the NFL and football showed that former players were four times more likely to suffer from motor neurone disease than might normally be expected.
It is said that symptoms can include aggression, memory loss, chronic depression, and alcohol and drug addiction.
There are already active measures being taken in most of these sports to mitigate against the risk of brain injury which includes reduced levels of contact in training and awareness and involvement of head injury assessment protocols and concussion education generally.
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