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Sports Clubs have a Duty of Care for their Players

By Senior Associate, Personal Injury

We have already witnessed many shocks and upsets at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. But if just one player were to suffer a cardiac arrest, I am certain it would be more shocking and upsetting than any surprise victory could ever be.

Rugby Players

Young sportsmen can be at increased risk of sudden cardiac death with all the physical exertion they carry out on the field of play. If a player suffers a cardiac arrest and blood stops being pumped around their body they are in serious trouble. The brain can only last for a matter of minutes without oxygen before suffering permanent damage.

Sadly, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club youth player Radwan Hamed suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing during a match for Spurs youth team in Belgium. The High Court ruled that his sports club and its doctors were partially liable as was the consultant cardiologist they hired to give Radwan a routine cardiological check-up. Together, they had a duty of care to the player. They should have informed him and his parents, as he was only 17 at the time, of the dormant but potentially fatal heart condition he had. With this information the Hamed family could’ve made an informed decision on whether Radwan should continue playing. His parents argued that, had they been informed of his condition, they would not have allowed him to play on.

This story teaches us the importance of thoroughly testing young athletes cardiologically and the duty that sports clubs have to look out for and protect their player’s wellbeing. Sports clubs should screen athletes for heart diseases that have the potential to be life-threatening in order to avoid tragedy.

As Rugby is a full contact sport players run a greater risk of being knocked unconscious than in other sports. If your rugby club fails to provide adequate protection they could they could find themselves liable to a rugby injury claim.

Tracey Benson is a Personal injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have many years of experience in helping athletes claim compensation for injuries sustained as a result of dangerous play or clinical negligence.

You can call our Sports Injury Solicitors 24/7 for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and will call you back.

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