Kurt Drysdale launches landmark authorized case in opposition to NSWRL

Drysdale broke his neck on the C5-C6 vertebrae in opposition to the Magpies. His household described it as a “crusher deal with”, an unlawful transfer by which a participant’s chin is compelled in the direction of the torso. NSWRL governs the Sydney Defend.

The harm shocked the rugby league neighborhood and prompted an outpouring of help. NSWRL was one in all many events concerned in fundraising efforts for the $1 million-plus required every year to present Drysdale the round the clock care he wants. In August, 2016, NSWRL staffers – together with chief govt David Trodden – posted pictures of themselves carrying ‘Unite For Kurt’ T-shirts selling the trigger.

Teammates and opponents come together in support of Kurt Drysdale.

Teammates and opponents come collectively in help of Kurt Drysdale.

The Drysdale household declined to touch upon the incident or the authorized proceedings when contacted by the Herald. The NSWRL additionally declined to remark.

In a column for SBS final yr, Drysdale’s mom, Sonya, spoke concerning the household’s ordeal because the tragedy. She stated she may not watch rugby league and implored the sport to handle ‘crusher’ tackles to forestall additional tragedies.

“It prices greater than $1m a yr to take care of my son who wants 24/7 care and rehabilitation for the remainder of his life,” she advised sbs.com.au final June.

“Whereas Kurt and his siblings have, for essentially the most half, accepted his harm, I am nonetheless indignant. I am indignant that gamers nonetheless use ‘crusher tackles’ – the place a grounded participant’s chin is compelled down in the direction of their torso.

“Mums are supposed to guard and make things better, however I can not repair this. What I can do is marketing campaign for the change we’d like in order that what occurred to my son would not occur to somebody you like.

“I am indignant there’s no more consciousness of the risks of those tackles. And I am involved that we’ll be seeing extra spinal wire accidents as a result of the sport is now a lot sooner, and gamers are a lot larger and stronger than after I was rising up watching the sport.

“Regardless of my anger, I am devoted to creating positive Kurt is wholesome, comfortable and stays alive. For the reason that accident, I’ve additionally suffered from extreme nervousness, and needed to stop my job as a result of Kurt is my essential precedence.

“I am hopeful that sooner or later, a remedy for paralysis might be discovered, and as a household, we do our greatest to assist elevate funds and consciousness for spinal harm analysis. There may be one certainty, although: there isn’t a means my grandchildren might be taking part in rugby league.”


It is not the primary time an injured participant has taken a governing physique to courtroom due to an on-field harm. Shane Anthony Inexperienced grew to become a tetraplegic when he was 16 after a scrum collapsed and broke his neck at a sport in Taree in 1994. Inexperienced sued Nation Rugby League for $6.5 million, however a 2008 Supreme Courtroom ruling discovered the CRL had not been negligent.

In an ongoing case, former premiership-winning prop Michael Greenfield started legal action against the ARL Commission five years ago after a shoulder charge ended his career.

The NRL outlawed the shoulder cost in 2013, a yr after Greenfield suffered a critical neck harm.

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