An ex-rugby star who sued his former club over a career-ending injury suffered as part of a drinking game on tour has settled two compensation claims.
Former Saracens flanker Matt Hankin claimed he was left with long-term concussion-type symptoms after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher by fellow player Richard Barrington during a boozy team-bonding trip to Budapest in September 2015.
The flanker had symptoms of concussion when he returned to England the next day and was forced to quit rugby after playing only one more game, during which he was again concussed.
Hankin has settled his claims against the team doctor that cleared him and the player which allegedly hit him with the fire extinguisher – but his claim against Saracens is still active.
Matt Hankin was only 25 when he had to give up his career due to the head injury he suffered
He was only 25 when he had to give up his career and subsequently sued Mr Barrington for delivering the blow with the fire extinguisher along with doctor, Ademola Adejuwon, who passed him fit to play after the incident, claiming over £3m.
Both denied liability, but have now agreed to pay Mr Hankin a significant sum to settle the case outside of court.
The settlement – revealed in a ruling on the six-figure lawyers’ bills which the pair face – involves no admission of liability, and the club itself does not feature in the settlement.
‘The claimant was a professional rugby player,’ said judge, Deputy Master Colin Campbell.
‘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.
Prop Richard Barrington had allegedly hit Mr Hankin on the head with a fire extinguisher during the raucous drinking game in Hungary
‘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.
‘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.
Matt Hankin was a part of the England squad which won their first Junior World Championship in 2013
‘Subsequently the claimant was diagnosed with post traumatic vestibular disorder and persistent post traumatic vestibular migraine.’
With his career at an end, Mr Hankin sued Mr Barrington, Dr Adejuwon and Saracens for £3.15m, and a trial of the claim was set to be heard last March.
But the judge said the trial was cancelled after the case was settled on terms that Mr Barrington and Dr Adejuwon would pay damages, as well as Mr Hankin’s lawyers’ bills.
The settlement was revealed in a decision relating to the level of fees which Mr Hankins’ lawyers can claim back from Mr Barrington and Dr Adejuwon.
Source: Daily Mail UK