Former Canadian rugby player Jamie Cudmore speaks about his concussion law suit

Azzaya Khan / October 2nd 2019

Jamie Cudmore for Team Canada media day

(Jamie Cudmore / Twitter @JNCudmore)

Former team Canada rugby player Jamie Cudmore talked about a class action law suit he filed against his former team in the French Rugby League. The law suit is against the team doctors who are accused of allowing him to play and exposing him to potentially fatal second impact syndrome. The incident occurred in 2015 where Cudmore suffered a concussion and was told to go back onto the field.

“After I was told not to play, the doctor came back and told me my second row partner was struggling, and asked if I could come back out, and obviously wanting to be part of the game, not thinking in my right mind I instantly said yeah let’s do it.”

Jamie Cudmore, Former Canadian Rugby Player

Cudmore said he was assessed twice, the first time he was told he couldn’t play, but when he was told his teammate couldn’t play he agreed to go back out, not knowing the risk.

According to Cudmore, the judge assigned to his case had a specialist investigate Cudmore’s claims, and the findings were that Cudmore’s claims were supported by facts.

Dr Shelina Babul, Associate director and sports injury specialist for BC children hospital was able to confirm the risk.

“If you have a suspected concussion the first time, you’re now three times more likely to sustain a second concussion, potentially more severe in nature.”

Dr. Shelina Babul Associate director and sports injury specialist for BC children hospital

Concussions are considered a regular risk in contact sports, but according to a 2018 report from Statistics Canada, 1 in 2 Canadians have little or  no knowledge about concussions. According to the report, only 15% can properly treat it, leading to major sports organizations developing concussion protocols.

Rugby Canada High Performance director Dustin Hopkins confirms that Rugby Canada and World Rugby do have proper protocols in place

“Our players going into international tournaments have to go into head injury assessment or HIA, where athletes are pre-inspected.” -Dustin Hopkins, Rugby Canada High Performance director

In Canada and the U.S., concussion research has come a long way, but for international players like Cudmore that isn’t always the case. Rugby teams from the French Rugby League and Australia’s National Rugby League have not addressed concussion related issues within the organization.

None of the allegations in this case have not been proven in court.

For more from Cudmore on how he feels about concussions in sports, you can listen below. 

Grayson Rudzki