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Class action launched against AFL over concussions

Margalit Injury Lawyers has launched a class action against the AFL over concussion damage to former players over a near 40-year period.

AFL PRE FINALS GEELONG COLLINGWOOD Dual Geelong premiership player Max Rooke is the lead plaintiff in a class action against the AFL.
March 14, 2023
By Cassandra Morgan
14 March 2023

A Victoria-based law firm has launched a landmark class action against the AFL, seeking compensation for the serious damage concussion has caused former players.

The action, lodged by Margalit Injury Lawyers in the Supreme Court of Victoria, is on behalf of all professional AFL players who sustained concussion-related injuries through head strikes while playing or training between 1985 and March 14 this year.

The lead plaintiff is Jarad Maxwell Rooke, better known as Max Rooke.

The dual premiership player was employed by the Geelong Football Club between 2001 and October 2010, and played 135 games during that time.

The class action alleges Rooke sustained permanent and life-altering injuries as a result of concussion-related injuries and because of the AFL’s negligence.

More than 60 former players have come forward to join the class action. 

They are seeking compensation for pain and suffering, economic loss and medical expenses, Margalit Injury Lawyers said.

“The injuries suffered by this group of former AFL players, as a direct result of the concussions sustained while playing Aussie rules, has had a devastating impact on their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” managing principal Michel Margalit said.

“Some of the players who have joined this landmark class action have never been able to hold down a job after leaving the AFL.

“Their personal lives have been shattered and they live with constant physical and mental pain. It’s heart-breaking and they need to be adequately cared for.”

The firm is speaking with neurology experts in preparation for them to give evidence in court. 

The AFL last year apologised to past players who were “let down” by the league’s concussion research project after an independent review criticised the study.

It was under-funded and under-resourced, the review found, and some AFL players still dumbed down their baseline concussion testing in pre-season to reduce the chance of a concussion diagnosis on game day.

Earlier on Tuesday, the AFL released its updated guidelines for the elite game and strategic plan for sport-related concussion in football.

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