Former Richmond player Ty Zantuck has won in the Supreme Court of Victoria in his bid to pay the club compensation for debilitating back and brain injuries.
The 68-game Tigers sued Richmond and two doctors, current Tigers doctor Greg Hickey and former doctor Chris Bradshaw between 2000 and 2004, alleging he had not treated the injury properly, even though he was allowed to train and play. Frequent head knocks.
Judge Mary-Jane Irodiaconu found the Tigers’ actions “despicable” and left Zantuk “disabled” and gave him more time to bring his case. There is a statute of limitations, usually six years, for personal injury claims.
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“Mr. Zantuk’s loss from the alleged injury is substantial,” she ruled.
“His evidence is that he was unable to work steadily for six months in 2009 due to the pain caused by his back injury. This left him in financial trouble. Mr. Zantuk’s back pain requires him to use a spinal cord stimulator.”
Zantuck said he received more than 20 epidurals and dozens of local anesthetic injections during his playing career.
He spent the 2005 season at Essendon, playing nine games, but the Bombers refused to give him more epidurals, prompting Zantuk to question the Tigers’ actions.
Last September, he was diagnosed with traumatic encephalopathy syndrome, a progressive encephalopathy characterized by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed after death.
“I’m still upset about everything,” Zantuck said at the previous hearing.
“I still love Richmond Football Club, it’s a base for my two sons.
“I think the treatment is very wrong.”
Zantuck agent and player welfare advocate Peter Jess told The Age the decision was “the AFL’s worst nightmare”.
“It can lead to a lot of issues with former players,” Jess said.
“This is an unprecedented decision for many reasons. First of all, Tye understands that he is an employee of Richmond, which means that he will be dealing with the issues that were at issue for the AFL in the Agar v Hyde Care Tribunal case.
“By now, defense is a dangerous sport and you know what you’re getting into as a player.
“The two exceptions are if you were an employee and there was negligence. Now Ty has been found to be an employee, so he could be the first player to act this way.”