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Ex-Saracens Player Who Sued Teammate Over Career-Ending Head Injury Settles Court Cases

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Ex-Saracens Player Who Sued Teammate Over Career-Ending Head Injury Settles Court Cases

A young rugby player whose career was cut short after he suffered a head injury has settled a £3 million court case.

Matt Hankin was playing for Saracens when teammate Richard Barrington 'tapped' him over the head with a fire extinguisher during a team bonding trip to Hungary in 2015.

According to reports, the flanker, now 28, went on to suffer from dizzy spells and vomiting following the incident.

And despite the club doctor passing him fit to play, he was never able to recover from his injury and was forced to retire from the game in 2018.

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Matt Hankin played as a flanker for Saracens. Credit: Alamy
Matt Hankin played as a flanker for Saracens. Credit: Alamy

He went on to sue Mr Barrington and Dr Ademola Adejuwon for a total sum of £3.15m, with both denying any liability.

A trial was set to be heard last March, however, it was cancelled after Mr Hankin managed to come to an agreement with both parties.

Despite agreeing to pay out, though, neither Mr Barrington nor Dr Adejuwon accepted any liability.

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The official sum agreed has not been disclosed.

Mr Hankin also sued Saracens at the time, but this case is still ongoing.

Richard Barrington 'tapped' Mr Hankin over the head with a fire extinguisher. Credit: Alamy
Richard Barrington 'tapped' Mr Hankin over the head with a fire extinguisher. Credit: Alamy

Mr Barrington and Dr Adejuwon will now pay pay damages to Mr Hankin, as well as his lawyers' bills, which are said to be six figures.

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Discussing the case, the judge, Deputy Master Colin Campbell, explained that Mr Hankin was given the all clear to continue playing rugby following the incident which took place in September 2015.

He said that in the days following his return to England, he suffered from dizzy spells and vomiting during training, and was also involved in a head collision during a game a few weeks later.

"The claimant was a professional rugby player," said Judge Campbell.

Mr Hankin sued Mr Barrington and the club doctor for £3.15m. Credit: Alamy
Mr Hankin sued Mr Barrington and the club doctor for £3.15m. Credit: Alamy
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"During a pre-season tour in Budapest on 6 September 2015, the team became involved in a traditional off-the-pitch drinking game, during the course of which the claimant suffered a severe head injury.

"The tap on the head he had received during the course of the game had been administered by Mr Barrington.

"On his return to England the following day, the claimant displayed symptoms of concussion.

"Between 8th and 15th September, the claimant had been placed on a graduated return to play although he had complained of dizzy spells and vomiting after exercise.

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Mr Hankin has now settled his case with Mr Barrington and the club doctor. Credit: Alamy
Mr Hankin has now settled his case with Mr Barrington and the club doctor. Credit: Alamy

"Following a medical review by Dr Adejuwon, the claimant had been diagnosed with sinusitis and prescribed a nasal spray, a dose which was repeated on 2 October 2015 when he was told that he was fit to play rugby the following day.

"During the match in question, the claimant had suffered a further head injury, resulting in another concussion.

"Subsequently the claimant was diagnosed with post traumatic vestibular disorder and persistent post traumatic vestibular migraine."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Rugby, UK News

Dominic Smithers
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