Five Irish rugby players involved in concussion lawsuit set to appear before the UK’s High Court

5,000 pages of medical records submitted ahead of proceedings on Friday

In an application filed in the UK High Court on Friday for a Group Litigation Order (GLO), the claimants have produced more than five thousand pages of medical records. Due to claims that they suffered brain damage while playing rugby, 300 players in the rugby union are currently suing World Rugby, the RFU, and the WRU in connection with concussion lawsuits.

The issuance of the GLO, a crucial step in the case, would transform the several hundred separate claims into a group one action. There is also a second application for anonymity being submitted to the court.

Not all of the claimants are rugby union players. There are over 450 players in total, with rugby league included as well as 25 from football. From the rugby union group, 77 have played internationally for Wales, 55 played for England and eight for Scotland. There are five Irish players included in the action.

Richard Boardman and his UK team at Rylands Garth are working in tandem with Dublin-based Maguire McClafferty LLP Solicitors to handle the case involving the former Irish footballers.

The claimants allege that the defendants committed negligence by neglecting to take appropriate measures to shield players against long-term harm brought on by repeated concussive and subconcussive hits.

Numerous athletes currently have a range of permanent neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), motor neurone disease, early-onset dementia, and post-concussion syndrome.

Over 35 former players in the concussion actions have already spoken publicly about their brain injuries, the

disastrous symptoms and how the illness is affecting their life after playing. Among them are international athletes like Wales’ Alix Popham, England’s Steve Thompson, and former All Black prop Carl Hayman, who won the World Cup.

The claimants have made several allegations against the defendants, including that they neglected to restrict the number of games and contact training sessions, failed to keep an eye on and lessen player exposure to concussive and sub-concussive impacts, and relied too heavily on the Concussion in Sports Group’s consensus statements for guidance.

The defendants are also accused of neglecting to appropriately consider the evidence that a young rugby union player was displaying signs of CTE/dementia pugilistica, or of failing to respond to the findings of the 1997 inquest into the death of 23-year-old Ian Tucker.

Several Irish rugby players, like as Dominic Ryan and David Corkery, have talked about how their lives altered after the game. Ryan had to retire from the game early due to symptoms. A flanker who was once exceptional and who loved big hits started to doubt himself. In 2018, Ryan described his horrifying symptoms to this publication.

“I’ve previously experienced migraines around concussions, but they were exclusively caused by trauma.” I was unable to speak on the phone,” he stated. “I found it annoying when people talked in my ear.” It wasn’t even a sunny day when I went out for coffee with the guys, yet I recall wearing sunglasses. It may seem insignificant, but the additional darkness the sunglasses provided was helpful.

The migraine persisted for a fortnight. It lasted for perhaps five or six days, nonstop. When navigating a car with ramps, I had to beg the driver to slow down or crawl over them since my mind was racing, nonstop. I was sent home by the club for a week to rest.

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