The two French rugby authorities have received a collective complaint from former players who accuse them of a breach of their security and information obligations on head trauma.
About fifteen players who played in the French rugby championship have decided to file a legal action against the French Rugby Federation and the National Rugby League for having failed in their security and information obligations concerning concussionsrevealed The Team . Among them is the Canadian Jamie Cudmore (former from Clermont), the New Zealander Carl Hayman (Toulon), the Englishman Steve Thompson (Brive) or the Welshman Alix Popham.
These players, who all evolved in France and who suffered the consequences of cranial shocks, are represented by the law firm Alekto. “The objective is not to criminalize the behavior of anyone, but that the plight of players who live a nightmare in silence is finally recognized and that appropriate measures are taken to effectively protect those who still play.“, explains to The Team Nino Arnaud, one of the players’ lawyers.
This collective action is part of a more global movement on the oval planet. A hundred former rugby players, mostly British, have filed a complaint in court against the International Federation (World Rugby) for poor management of the dangers of concussions. These ex-players accuse World Rugby and their national federations – English (RFU) and Welsh (WRU) – of “lack of protection against the risks incurred after concussions”explained the law firm Rylands who represent these players, who suffer from early signs of dementia and probable “chronic traumatic encephalopathy”.
“My brain had become like a camera without film”
Former Welsh third line Alix Popham recently gave a chilling testimony in the columns of The Team. The international with 33 selections explained that“today, (he has) very few memories of (her) career, everything is foggy” : “ When I watch videos of myself, it’s like I’m watching someone else. During confinement, they played England-Wales, my last international match (in 2008), I saw myself tackled but, inside me, I felt nothing. It was empty. I was told that my brain had become like a camera without film. He takes the photos but does not save them.
The Federation and the League received on Monday the letter from the lawyers informing them of this action. The two bodies will speak after consultation meetings between doctors. Recently, during an informal meeting, the LNR had explained that it feared that such an action, on this very sensitive subject, would be triggered by former players. It is now done.
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