Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

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Barney841
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by Barney841 »

Mike wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 2:38 pm Did they know about the risk of dementia and very serious mental heath issues before they started playing? The current generation certainly should do, but most of this has come out in the last 10 years or so. IMO mental health issues are very different to bad knees or broken bones. They are up there with cancer etc. If you worked in the nuclear power industry and found out that you and your colleagues had a much higher rate of cancer than the general population - would you be saying "oh well, we knew the risks when we took the job..."? Or would you be looking for support and to make sure that doesn't happen again?
It’s no worse than boxing in the sense you’re getting knocks to head, it’s gonna happen, except in rugby there is head protection provided.
It’s a profession where there is risk, do you think these sportsman would have thought differently if they were more aware of these illnesses? I don’t, as the passion for sport usually takes over.
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Mike
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by Mike »

Barney841 wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 5:44 pm
Mike wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 2:38 pm Did they know about the risk of dementia and very serious mental heath issues before they started playing? The current generation certainly should do, but most of this has come out in the last 10 years or so. IMO mental health issues are very different to bad knees or broken bones. They are up there with cancer etc. If you worked in the nuclear power industry and found out that you and your colleagues had a much higher rate of cancer than the general population - would you be saying "oh well, we knew the risks when we took the job..."? Or would you be looking for support and to make sure that doesn't happen again?
It’s no worse than boxing in the sense you’re getting knocks to head, it’s gonna happen, except in rugby there is head protection provided.
It’s a profession where there is risk, do you think these sportsman would have thought differently if they were more aware of these illnesses? I don’t, as the passion for sport usually takes over.
Well then if you don't think they'd have behaved differently then the RFL have got no case to answer - case closed....

Its not about them behaving differently, its about their employer protecting them from excessive risks. And at this point, its up to the courts to decide whether that took place or not unfortunately.

IMO there is definitely an issue with head contact that is becoming clearer as time goes on. The issue for me is what was it reasonable for the RFL and players to know and when, and were mitigating actions taken in a timely manner given that information. If the RFL did everything it could given the knowlege it had, then thats all we can ask. If it had new, credible information about the risks that it did not pass on to players and did not take action to mitigate, then they have a problem.
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DaveO
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by DaveO »

Mike wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 2:38 pm Did they know about the risk of dementia and very serious mental heath issues before they started playing? The current generation certainly should do, but most of this has come out in the last 10 years or so. IMO mental health issues are very different to bad knees or broken bones. They are up there with cancer etc. If you worked in the nuclear power industry and found out that you and your colleagues had a much higher rate of cancer than the general population - would you be saying "oh well, we knew the risks when we took the job..."? Or would you be looking for support and to make sure that doesn't happen again?
May late Dad worked for Turner Brothers and a lot of people who worked there died of asbestosis. They didn’t know the risks either but the cause of the horrible disease they were afflicted with was proven. It was as a direct result of their employment and it could be argued their employer didn’t exercise a duty of care to them resulting in them becoming ill. So a similar example to yours about the nuclear industry..

However there are problems applying this analogy to RL and RU. First of all there was no denying the link between their employment and contracting the disease. That is not so clear cut in the case of the issues former players are suffering. Diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia can be caused by many factors including lifestyle and genetics. The MND Association do not claim head injuries are a cause, they still don’t know what causes it despite different studies into different potential causes so will not say head injuries are a cause.

So how 160 players can claim their issues are all caused due to playing RL I have no idea. There is no direct link like there was with working with asbestos and asbestosis. How do they know they wouldn’t be suffering from dementia if they had never played the game? They don’t.

Note I am not saying repeated bangs to the head won’t make such issues more likely just that they could contract these diseases regardless.

Secondly I think the RFL would be in much more trouble if they knew the sport caused brain injuries and covered it up or denied.it. The players will have to prove the RFL should have done something to protect them from a known issue. I doubt anyone in the game thought it could lead to such issues so it’s hard to argue precautions should have been taken against an unknown risk.
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by Mike »

DaveO wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 6:50 pm
Mike wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 2:38 pm Did they know about the risk of dementia and very serious mental heath issues before they started playing? The current generation certainly should do, but most of this has come out in the last 10 years or so. IMO mental health issues are very different to bad knees or broken bones. They are up there with cancer etc. If you worked in the nuclear power industry and found out that you and your colleagues had a much higher rate of cancer than the general population - would you be saying "oh well, we knew the risks when we took the job..."? Or would you be looking for support and to make sure that doesn't happen again?
May late Dad worked for Turner Brothers and a lot of people who worked there died of asbestosis. They didn’t know the risks either but the cause of the horrible disease they were afflicted with was proven. It was as a direct result of their employment and it could be argued their employer didn’t exercise a duty of care to them resulting in them becoming ill. So a similar example to yours about the nuclear industry..

However there are problems applying this analogy to RL and RU. First of all there was no denying the link between their employment and contracting the disease. That is not so clear cut in the case of the issues former players are suffering. Diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia can be caused by many factors including lifestyle and genetics. The MND Association do not claim head injuries are a cause, they still don’t know what causes it despite different studies into different potential causes so will not say head injuries are a cause.

So how 160 players can claim their issues are all caused due to playing RL I have no idea. There is no direct link like there was with working with asbestos and asbestosis. How do they know they wouldn’t be suffering from dementia if they had never played the game? They don’t.

Note I am not saying repeated bangs to the head won’t make such issues more likely just that they could contract these diseases regardless.

Secondly I think the RFL would be in much more trouble if they knew the sport caused brain injuries and covered it up or denied.it. The players will have to prove the RFL should have done something to protect them from a known issue. I doubt anyone in the game thought it could lead to such issues so it’s hard to argue precautions should have been taken against an unknown risk.
This is all true. Its a very complex issue, not a black and white, and IMO not a topic to easily to dismiss with a throw away twitter post blaming one side or the other. There are real issues here and we are now working through them.

Regarding the lack of concrete causal proof about whether an individual might have got this or that - that is true there is none, but for me it echos the tobacco companies old defence against the harm smoking does. We're probably never going to have total proof of all the mechnisms at play here because we don't even understand the diseases themselves fully yet, and even if we did, we've never be able to say for sure that Player X got dementia because of this or that tackle. However, you can do statistical studies about prevalence of these diseases in the population of RL players vs a comparible non-RL playing population, and if that provides strong correlations then its understandable that head injuries come into the spotlight.

Maybe head injuries are nothing to do with it, perhaps there's a hidden variable that causes both wanting to play RL and dementia, or something else the players do that causes dementia. All we can do is wait for those studies to be completed over the next few decades and the evidence will either firm up, or disappear.

However for now, I believe its sensible to suppose that repeated head contacts are detrimental and to do something about it. If the RFL don't do that, and the link becomes even clearer, the next 160 players to sue will have a much stronger case, that's for sure.
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thegimble
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by thegimble »

Mike very good post

The one issue RFL or the clubs has. Did they withhold any evidence of brain trauma. NFL did and players did not get protected from sustained concussions.

As some have pointed out, we in amateur union in Wales did not know of the long-term issues regarding concussions. It was never acknowledged as an issue.

If any player was forced to or coerced to play whilst those with the power knew of the issues regarding brain trauma then they do have a case.

But this feels to me a money grab by players no longer doing anything in the game. Especially since there was no documentation re brain trauma out there. Apart from the one the NFL commissioned and hid for years. The evidence came out about 5 years ago as Mike said unless protected the next 160 players will have a strong case
fozzie58
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by fozzie58 »

This case smells off to me.

When I was a callow youth I played,as I’m sure many of us did,rugby for my school,my inglorious career ended after being knocked out cold one wet afternoon,I suffered a nasty headaches for a few days after that but it passed and at my press conference attended by none I announced my retirement,the point I’m trying to make Rugby,in all its forms hurts,simple as that it’s a contact sport and as such I decided I didn’t want get hurt anymore so I stopped which is an informed decision by a 14 year old lad.

Right that little story over with I’ll come to this issue as I see it,no one forced these players to play simple as that it was an informed choice on their part which is fine but perhaps the bigger issue for me is this?there is no one way to prove the link between rugby and dementia there just isn’t who’s to say Joe bloggs wouldn’t have got dementia in life if instead of being a prop forward for club x he was an office worker?

This feels like an opportunist cash grab
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Mike
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Re: Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hits out against 160 claimants in legal action

Post by Mike »

fozzie58 wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 8:06 am This case smells off to me.

When I was a callow youth I played,as I’m sure many of us did,rugby for my school,my inglorious career ended after being knocked out cold one wet afternoon,I suffered a nasty headaches for a few days after that but it passed and at my press conference attended by none I announced my retirement,the point I’m trying to make Rugby,in all its forms hurts,simple as that it’s a contact sport and as such I decided I didn’t want get hurt anymore so I stopped which is an informed decision by a 14 year old lad.

Right that little story over with I’ll come to this issue as I see it,no one forced these players to play simple as that it was an informed choice on their part which is fine but perhaps the bigger issue for me is this?there is no one way to prove the link between rugby and dementia there just isn’t who’s to say Joe bloggs wouldn’t have got dementia in life if instead of being a prop forward for club x he was an office worker?

This feels like an opportunist cash grab
You can say that the prevalence of these issues are different to a control population and that is all. Until there is a casual link that's what you can do. And that is enough to win a case (if there is a case to answer). In general it not possible to force that anyone's disease was caused by one thing or another. If you need that level of proof you can't even say smoking causes lung cancer, because each individual would have to be tied to that individually, and we all know people who had no health consequences after being a lifetime smoker.

People get compensated after the 9/11 attack in NYC for future health issues like cancer and lung problems. There is no proof for each individual that the attack caused their issue, because that's not possible. However the government knows that lots of people got sick afterwards and are trying to help that population.
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