Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

AFL concussion class action could push $1 billion in compensation, firm hopes


The AFL could be taken to the Victorian Supreme Court in a matter of weeks, with a Melbourne law firm registering its intent of bringing a class action against the organization.

Margalit Injury Lawyers managing principal Michel Margalit says her firm has been “inundated” by former players who have received life-changing head knocks from playing AFL. Both males and females – despite the AFLW existing for only a little over six years – are part of the class action.

The issue of concussions and head knocks has become a particularly pivotal one to the AFL in recent years after former AFL players Shane Tuck and Danny Frawley were diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) post-mortem.

While the disorder is not yet fully understood, it is a degenerative brain condition that has ongoing symptoms, including cognitive impairments and behavioural changes.

Ms Margalit says the time has come to take action after what she describes as a failure from the AFL.

“We’re being inundated by calls of former players who have suffered head injuries, concussions and related injuries,” she told SEN’s Whateley.

“Certainly, people are now ready and willing to take this major action.”

She continued: “Action should have been taken many, many years ago, not only to change the protocols, to increase education but also to financially support people both once injured but also to deter them so they don’t return to play too early”.

Ms Maraglit referenced the class actions brought against the NFL by its former players that resulted in a massive settlement as to what could happen back in Australia.

Over $1 billion has so far been paid out to former NFL players, a number expected to grow by at least several hundred million in the coming years.

“We are looking at the types of compensation that’s been garnered internationally. For the NFL class action in the US, the initial settlements there was close to (USD) $1 billion,” Ms Margalit added.

“That is a very realistic figure in terms of this class action.”

In Australian dollars, that figure would be just shy of $1.5 billion.

In terms of the seriousness of the life changes former players have suffered, Ms Margalit painted a revealing picture.

“Certainly, many players are very severely affected,” she stated.

“Not only are they having difficulty working, continuing relationships, but there’s an alarming amount of times we hear the word ‘suicide’ uttered.”

Ms Maraglit also confirmed her firm's plans to “lodge in the coming weeks” with players behind the class action ranging in ages, although no names have been released.

Professional sports players are currently exempt from workers’ compensation schemes.


More in AFL