Scandal John Barnes launching concussion class action

caspian

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Surely there's some sort've accountability on the player for signing up to the sport to the first place. If you're stupid and play sport there's am obvious chance you might get knocked in the head and become stupider
I guess you have that sort of analogy with other jobs though, ie "if you're a truck driver there's a chance you're gonna fall asleep at the wheel, deal with it", "if you're a bricklayer there's a chance you're gonna root your back, deal with it" and so on.

Those jobs offer a lot of compo, does the AFL? Apparently not, "At the moment what they [the AFL] are doing is not working. How they've been able to get away with that for so long is what we are about — hockey and cricket offer workers' compensation," he said."

We can use the whole "well players get paid a lot" but I can't imagine Barnes and a lot of other players for that matter retiring super rich; and even in Oz quality care for this kinda stuff is damned expensive.
 

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doppleganger

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I guess you have that sort of analogy with other jobs though, ie "if you're a truck driver there's a chance you're gonna fall asleep at the wheel, deal with it", "if you're a bricklayer there's a chance you're gonna root your back, deal with it" and so on.

Those jobs offer a lot of compo, does the AFL? Apparently not, "At the moment what they [the AFL] are doing is not working. How they've been able to get away with that for so long is what we are about — hockey and cricket offer workers' compensation," he said."

We can use the whole "well players get paid a lot" but I can't imagine Barnes and a lot of other players for that matter retiring super rich; and even in Oz quality care for this kinda stuff is damned expensive.
The AFL does offer compensation if injury forces a player into retirement...

If you’re a brickie in your 20s, but stop and move onto a different career for 15+ years, but then start experiencing some back pain....good luck getting coin from the brickie company you worked for decades ago.

And yeah, Barnes was a hard drinking player...alcohol abuse can lead to plenty of neurological issues down the track.
 

Adelaide Hawk

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While I don’t think he will win his case if he does could this seriously cost the afl tens of millions of dollars? Would this be covered via insurance? Peter Jess is involved, that bloke is only interested in $$$&
These people have been slowly killing the game of football. I call them "money people". They don't love football the way you or I would love the game, they love what the game does for them in terms of how much money they can make from the game. Especially since the AFL began, people have looked at the product and seen there are big bucks to be made. If we could be around for long enough, you will see these people finally destroy the game, nobody will be allowed to play it any more because of all the legal wrangles. Don't laugh, because it will happen if lawyers start getting their way.
 

teagueyubeauty

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I was at a sportsmans night that Barnes was a guest speaker.
All he did was talk about how much he used to get pissed. He thought his stories where hilerious...
Massive tool that is just a drunk.
Can concur he’s nothing but a nuffie, some of the shit he regurgitates as the “union rep” at the Council he works at highlights him as someone that was very lucky to have the gift of playing football because he doesn’t have much else going for him.
 

jackenny

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Some pretty harsh comments in here.

I did 10 years in the Navy, I've been out for 17 years. If now or further down the track I have issues that can be attributed to my service, I am eligible for compensation and treatment.

I don't see this as any different.
Exactly. Some of the comments describing John Barnes as a drunk are pretty miserable, especially if he is as unwell as that article describes. This isn't crooked fingers and bad knees. This is a man's brain turning to mush as a result of concussion. It's all well and good for blokes writing on their desktops to talk about how players should know the risks of playing football, but I don't think they fully appreciate how debilitating epilepsy can be or how horrific it is for someone to get severe memory loss in their forties. Whether or not the AFL are found liable is unknown to me, that's a matter for the courts but his case isn't pointless, and the nature of CTE, especially in his case, is serious enough that he deserves a little more respect and dignity.
 

caspian

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Exactly. Fair to say, especially back in the day that you'd maybe expect what- a dodgy knee, a bad back?- as a result of playing top level footy. You would not expect your entire post-playing life to be ruined by your brain. Whether he's got a case or not is one thing but he certainly deserves a bit of sympathy, if nothing else.
 

Minka Beaver

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Exactly. Some of the comments describing John Barnes as a drunk are pretty miserable, especially if he is as unwell as that article describes. This isn't crooked fingers and bad knees. This is a man's brain turning to mush as a result of concussion. It's all well and good for blokes writing on their desktops to talk about how players should know the risks of playing football, but I don't think they fully appreciate how debilitating epilepsy can be or how horrific it is for someone to get severe memory loss in their forties. Whether or not the AFL are found liable is unknown to me, that's a matter for the courts but his case isn't pointless, and the nature of CTE, especially in his case, is serious enough that he deserves a little more respect and dignity.
There's no doubting that his life has been turned upside down by an awful illness. The issue is whether he's the right person to front a major class action, considering other contributory factors. If it becomes a civil suit and defence counsel can even partly counter his claims that his neurological conditions came from footy, then it could hinder a successful suit and prevent/delay a workers' compensation scheme being established.

I listened to his interview last week with Peter Donegan. Barnesy is actually a much more insightful person than he used to present when playing the fool on footy panel shows.
 

FRUMPY

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Why not also take his manager to court. Surely its the managers role to advise him when to play and not play if he wasn't feeling 100%. Its all just a money grab and slimey Pete Jess as usual at the helm.
 

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How right it is to bring in lawyers is debatable, but this is why McCartin should be dissuaded from ever playing footy again. At any level. The AFL love to pontificate 'doing the right thing' when it comes to taking the piss out of women's footy online, gay marriage, and national immigration policy. But they don't actually want to do the right thing by the humans they employ.

We're only seeing this start now, as these guys enter their 40s and 50s. Fits of all description, amnesia, paranoia, tinnitus, mentall illness... even the lesser ones like dizziness, vision impairment isn't shit you really want to have every day from ages 45 plus.

McCartin is an idiot if he's considering playing again.
What about those that played in the 50s and 60s? Are they not affected?
I believe Chick in the end had a legitimate claim for treatment in the form of a hypabaric chamber or something similar. When he retired from the eagles and especially after the game where he was elbowed in the head by Solomon, he wasnt given a proper medical that most players get when retiring. He had a rare whiplash injury of sometype which in effect had some fluid (possibly brain fluid ?) leaking which caused his ongoing issues... i cant remember everything but he posted about it on bigfooty a few years back. Apologised for the herald sun article as well.
Did you play as well?
 

GreyCrow

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Yes there are issues surrounding concussion and the management from before 2000 was patchy at best. A lot of that was cultural ' ah get back out ya sook'' a lot of it was ignorance, but mostly a lot of it was '' thats part of football''

I dont begrudge anybody trying to get compensation from their workplace.

And for those that think the AFL are doing the right thing. They look to be doing the right thing. As noted previously McCartin would be de-registered for 1 year if the AFL thought it was the right thing.
 

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jackenny

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There's no doubting that his life has been turned upside down by an awful illness. The issue is whether he's the right person to front a major class action, considering other contributory factors. If it becomes a civil suit and defence counsel can even partly counter his claims that his neurological conditions came from footy, then it could hinder a successful suit and prevent/delay a workers' compensation scheme being established.

I listened to his interview last week with Peter Donegan. Barnesy is actually a much more insightful person than he used to present when playing the fool on footy panel shows.
Honestly, that's going to be the MO of the defence no matter who's fronting the civil suit. I don't think the crux of the case will be won or lost on whether his issues can be proven to be as a result of football, though. I think it will centre more on whether or not the AFL is in fact liable (whether they took reasonable steps at the time to prevent concussion, what they knew of concussion at the time, etc).
 

Minka Beaver

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Honestly, that's going to be the MO of the defence no matter who's fronting the civil suit. I don't think the crux of the case will be won or lost on whether his issues can be proven to be as a result of football, though. I think it will centre more on whether or not the AFL is in fact liable (whether they took reasonable steps at the time to prevent concussion, what they knew of concussion at the time, etc).
I don’t think we can make a judgment yet as to whether causation or prior knowledge will be the bigger hurdle for plaintiffs to overcome. What will be interesting is how true club medicos have been to their patients, rather than the clubs.

Adrian Whitehead’s case may be instructive. He sued for medical negligence regarding a fractured foot suffered in-game, but from memory he had to settle after he was told the injury should’ve been covered by workers comp. If that’s correct, then there’s precedent for a different class of injury - but I don’t think there was any issue in that case regarding causation.
 

GreyCrow

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I don’t think we can make a judgment yet as to whether causation or prior knowledge will be the bigger hurdle for plaintiffs to overcome. What will be interesting is how true club medicos have been to their patients, rather than the clubs.

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Does it matter the Chain of Command structure? ie Doc says player is concussed then fudges (after coach screams and yells) that player may be ok if they are in the forward line etc
 

jackenny

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I don’t think we can make a judgment yet as to whether causation or prior knowledge will be the bigger hurdle for plaintiffs to overcome. What will be interesting is how true club medicos have been to their patients, rather than the clubs.

Adrian Whitehead’s case may be instructive. He sued for medical negligence regarding a fractured foot suffered in-game, but from memory he had to settle after he was told the injury should’ve been covered by workers comp. If that’s correct, then there’s precedent for a different class of injury - but I don’t think there was any issue in that case regarding causation.
I don't think Adrian Whitehead's case is a good comparison, because since then the Accident Compensation and Other Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2006 has passed. Basically, it stipulates in no uncertain terms "that it was never the intention of the Accident Compensation Act 1985 to cover professional sportspeople who are injured whilst participating as a contestant in a sporting or athletic activity, engaged in training or preparation in order to participate as a sporting contestant, or is travelling between a place of residence and the place where the sportsperson is participating as a contestant." It also says in no uncertain terms that it applies in respect of any claim or proceedings made or lodged on or after 1 June 2006 irrespective of whether the injury occurred before, on or after 1 June 2006, even going so far as to say "amendment of section 16 by section 4 of the Accident Compensation and Other Legislation (Amendment) Act 2006 does not affect the rights of the parties in the proceedings known as Adrian Whitehead v Carlton Football Club Limited & Ors (No. 4905 of 2001) in the Supreme Court of Victoria (Court of Appeal). " Which really meant Adrian Whitehead was shit out of luck.

reference: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/vic/consol_act/aca1985204/s288.html

You make an interesting point about how true the club medicos were to their patients, though. It seems to me that Carlton originally dodged a bullet in regard to Adrian Whitehead's case thanks to unclear legislation, but I wonder how that case would've gone under the new legislation.
 

Minka Beaver

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I don't think Adrian Whitehead's case is a good comparison, because since then the Accident Compensation and Other Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2006 has passed. Basically, it stipulates in no uncertain terms "that it was never the intention of the Accident Compensation Act 1985 to cover professional sportspeople who are injured whilst participating as a contestant in a sporting or athletic activity, engaged in training or preparation in order to participate as a sporting contestant, or is travelling between a place of residence and the place where the sportsperson is participating as a contestant." It also says in no uncertain terms that it applies in respect of any claim or proceedings made or lodged on or after 1 June 2006 irrespective of whether the injury occurred before, on or after 1 June 2006, even going so far as to say "amendment of section 16 by section 4 of the Accident Compensation and Other Legislation (Amendment) Act 2006 does not affect the rights of the parties in the proceedings known as Adrian Whitehead v Carlton Football Club Limited & Ors (No. 4905 of 2001) in the Supreme Court of Victoria (Court of Appeal). " Which really meant Adrian Whitehead was shit out of luck.

reference: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/vic/consol_act/aca1985204/s288.html

You make an interesting point about how true the club medicos were to their patients, though. It seems to me that Carlton originally dodged a bullet in regard to Adrian Whitehead's case thanks to unclear legislation, but I wonder how that case would've gone under the new legislation.
Great analysis - thanks.
 

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I was at a sportsmans night that Barnes was a guest speaker.
All he did was talk about how much he used to get pissed. He thought his stories where hilerious...
Massive tool that is just a drunk.
I was going to say, I distinctly remember Barnes getting on the sauce frequently when he was playing. No idea about any other substances but in comparison to alcohol they’re probably not even relevant anyway
 

Aramis

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Sam Shaw is suing Adelaide FC, claiming they treated a concussive episode in a negligent manner:

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/ex-afl-player-sues-club-after-retiring-because-of-concussion-20190402-p519x8.html
This is going to become more and more common place. I just don't understand why players aren't made to sign waivers, especially ones who are particularly prone to concussion, I mean no one is forcing them to play... at some point free will and choice must come into it.

Instead of sanitising the sport to the point it becomes 'touch footy' how about we put a bit of the onus back on the players in question... Football is an inherently dangerous contact sport. The risk is there but playing AFL is also highly rewarding in my facets, not the least of which is financially.

Bookmark it now, Paddy McCartin will be the player that will be the catalyst for a big overhaul... I'll predict retirement in 2021 and big change to come in 2022.
 

Brutalitops

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Poor bugger. I wonder though, if one of the questions that will be asked is if the player partook of recreational drugs during/after their playing career? Somehow they have to prove that his issues are as a direct result of concussions gained whilst playing, and the lack of appropriate handling of it. (Long term) ongoing abuse of mind altering drugs can often lead to similar symptoms later in life.
I would apply Ockham's Razor before looking for a differential diagnosis. It takes 10+ years (typically) for alcohol or neurotoxic subtance abuse (meth, inhalants, etc) for them to prsent as a risk factor for an ABI.

Secondly, he doesnt need to prove the ABI is a direct result of playing footy; only that it was in some way a contributing factor. The degree of which only affects settlement.
 

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