An ex-Saracens player is bringing a lawsuit against the club, a club doctor and a teammate following what he alleges was a career-ending injury suffered in a Budapest bar. Matt Hankin says the incident in 2015, where he was hit on the head with a fire extinguisher while wearing a metal helmet, resulted in a concussion that led to the end of his Saracens career.
The now 27-year-old was a part of the England U20 side that won the Junior World Championship in 2013 and had looked to be on a path to higher honours, until his retirement in 2018.
According to The Sun, the former openside is now suing Saracens, club doctor Ademola Adejuwon and prop Richard Barrington.
Papers lodged in the High Court on Friday and seen by the newspaper say that Barrington “…caused injury to the claimant by striking him on the head whilst he was wearing a metal helmet with a fire extinguisher”.
Hankin claims that when he returned to the Saracens training centre following the trip, staff were negligent in allowing him to return to play three weeks later despite the concussion that had been sustained in Budapest. He claims he was injured again, compounding the effects of concussion.
“He (Hankin) has not returned to play rugby since 3 October 2015 when his employment with the Appellant came to an end in June 2018, when his contract came to an end.”
In an interview with the RPA in 2018, Hankin said: “I used to get home and just break down… I couldn’t watch telly, I couldn’t go out. I was a prisoner in my own home. If my friends were to come round, I felt like I couldn’t entertain and be the person I was.
“I felt like I had to be upbeat as I didn’t want to bring other people down. You have this barrier up the whole time.
“There was one point where I couldn’t leave the flat. And there are those mental factors that get you in that downward spiral.”
Saracens denied liability in a statement given to The Sun and declined to comment further.
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