The Six Nations is now in full swing and we thankfully welcomed back Johnny Sexton to the team after a long absence due to concussion. With the World Cup only nine months away and with Ireland having just confirmed their intention to bid to become the host nation of the 2023 tournament, it is notable that the biggest rugby story over the last twelve months has been concussions and the serious personal injuries* players can suffer as a result of them.
By definition, a concussion is ‘a type of traumatic brain injury’ usually caused by a blow to the head or body. It would be expected that brain injuries of any kind would be taken extremely seriously. However historically there has been a dismissive attitude to concussions in all sports. This has unfortunately resulted in a small, but not insignificant, number of players suffering serious personal injuries* or, in some cases, even fatal injuries. This was recently highlighted in March of last year when the High Court approved a settlement of €2.75m, after a school boy suffered horrific personal injuries*, arising out of him sustaining two concussions in a relatively short period of time.
The settlement by the NFL of a massive class action personal injury* law suit, brought by retired American Football players, again highlighted the dangers, not only to the players, but also and to the sport as a whole, of not taking concussion injuries seriously.
Thankfully the IRFU now seem to be taking the issue of concussions seriously, as seen by the submissions they made in October last to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Sport. The challenge for the IRFU will be educating the coaches, particularly those coaching at lower levels, of the dangers of concussion and the serious personal injuries* they can cause and how to identify when a player has suffered a concussion.
Hopefully Johnny Sexton will stay clear of any future concussions. If he could also steer us to a defence of the Six Nations Cup, well, that you would be great too.
For further information on any aspect of personal injury* law, please do not hesitate to contact Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors on 045 897784 or at email@example.com.
This article is merely for information purposes and is not and should not be taken as legal advice. If you have any queries in relation to any aspect of personal injury* law, you should consult with a solicitor who specialises in personal injuries*. No solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature exists between you and Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors, until you receive written confirmation that we are acting as solicitors on your behalf.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.