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Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Discussion started by Strinesian Saleanian , 08 January, 2019 13:03
Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Strinesian Saleanian 08 January, 2019 13:03
Quote:
The club would like to comment on the recent media reports concerning litigation between former player, Cillian Willis, and Sale Sharks.
Whilst it is correct that Mr Willis did commence a legal action against the club in 2016. Mr Willis subsequently discontinued that claim in March 2018, without any payment of compensation being made by Sale Sharks.

Sale Sharks have an exemplary record with regards to player welfare and wellbeing, the club would like to wish Cillian success in the future.

I didn't realise the case had been dropped. Perhaps more significantly, neither, it seems, did Sam Peters! (Sm102)

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
ageinghoody 08 January, 2019 14:30
How does that square with this article in The Irish Times last September?

[www.irishtimes.com]

Unless that's one of the media reports being queried. I vaguely recall something in The Times about a month ago.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2019 14:35 by ageinghoody.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
ageinghoody 08 January, 2019 14:33
Deleted - c****d up!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2019 14:34 by ageinghoody.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
M5 Shark 08 January, 2019 15:22
Sam Peters tweeted today about there still being a case in February

[mobile.twitter.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2019 15:36 by M5 Shark.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
romanfaithfull 08 January, 2019 15:27
I've been pretty much silent on the Dimes - Peters issue so far but that tweet by Peters really makes me feel like he's got an agenda against the club.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
ale shark 08 January, 2019 15:48
So there is still a case, just not against Sale Sharks?

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Glossopshark 08 January, 2019 16:23
I'm sure I read somewhere that the club argued, somewhat successfully it appears, that the medics were not employees but self employed service providers so bore no liability.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
NorthernMaori 08 January, 2019 16:28
It appears that the Club managed to successfully argue that the Doctors were independent and therefore the SS was not responsible. That is understandable as in medical situations general consensus is that a Doctor's decision is final, regardless of whether it opposes any company policy. of course this can lead to issues in some cases.

Re. Sam Peters.

His tweet earlier today does create the idea that SS are still somehow still involved in a case with Cillian regarding his concussions. However, the Club's statement and re-reading SP's tweet makes it clear that SS are not involved. If Sam Peters was to do the honorable thing, he would tweet clarification that Sale Sharks are not involved, with reference to no money being exchanged between the two parties as a settlement. However, given his current relationship with SD that will not happen and some will understand why.

It would probably be best if he stopped reporting on anything to do with SS or SD for a while. His previous work highlighting concerns about concussions is admirable but no everyone recognises the issue there is not point of him continuing to beat the public over the head with it.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Hobb5y 08 January, 2019 16:51
Does anyone know how the doctors on the field are not employees?

Is it standard practice for medical staff of a club to be self employed or are there specific doctors that are meant to be independent for head assessment?

Whilst legally it may be right that the doctors are self employed, is it ethical right to say that self employed doctors who have less rights than employees normally (eg uber/deliveroo) aren't going to ensure the outcome their paymaster requires

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
ale shark 08 January, 2019 17:09
Would be surprised if any of the clubs employed full time doctors.

Maybe the league/RFU should appoint them anyway if they don't already.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
H's D 08 January, 2019 23:04
I suspect that doctors are contracted to provide a service: if they are sick they will still be required to provide a deputy to fulfill their obligations. That is a critical difference.
I also expect they do work elsewhere as well, so aren't really full-time employees.

Interesting in the light of "Bloodgate", in that case the club's Doctor/Physio seemed to cop for the biggest share of the blame/penalty as well.
Who do people blame for that incident in the cool light of day several years later?
Rugby culture, Club culture, DOR, coach, Doctor/Physio or player? Probably a combination of all of them?

In terms of the hypocratic oath, Doctors will always be liable with their professional bodies and probably under the law, no matter the nature of their employment.
An injured party usually has a choice on who to sue if a doctor is a full-time employee.
It's the same as for Vets. It's inherent in both our professions being permitted to self-govern.
Clubs really shouldn't employ Doctors; so that there is no opportunity for any pressure being exerted upon them or their clinical judgement. e.g. like Mourinho notoriously did in football.
I concur with aleshark, but am pretty sure the clubs still pay the club's doctors.
Any doctor worthy of the name should however completely focus on what's best for their patients health and well-being.
I expect that is the GMC's view.
Unfortunately not all doctors are exactly the same in their clinical judgment.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2019 23:48 by H's D.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
H's D 08 January, 2019 23:36
A doctor's contractual arrangement with a rugby club would also make interesting reading.
It might well state that the club will reimburse the doctor for expenses incurred in fulfilling their duties at the club. e.g. the appropriate add-on professional indemnity insurance for the doctor when treating very expensive athletes playing a contact sport.
If it were required of course.
Anyone know the details? There might be GMC guidance or even a template.
Perhaps one of our medic supporters could comment?

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Hobb5y 09 January, 2019 09:03
It's difficult without knowing, but I'm just trying to think if there is a better way to try and make the doctors more independent.

The comment ref clubs not employing doctors like in the Mourinhou case strikes a real cord and can show the downside of clubs employment of people who have a hypocratic oath.

Could the RFU not employ the doctors and take the money from the funding given for England players so that the clubs don't loose money but then don't have to pay the doctors at all. Does this move the paymaster further away?

I guess the question is for player welfare does something need to be done?

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
M5 Shark 09 January, 2019 09:59
Match day doctors could be allocated by RFU/PR (like officials)

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
ageinghoody 09 January, 2019 11:26
Quote:
Hobb5y
...
Could the RFU not employ the doctors and take the money from the funding given for England players so that the clubs don't loose money but then don't have to pay the doctors at all. Does this move the paymaster further away? ...

I like that idea at first reading!

Even with an "independent agent" arrangement, if it's directly with the club, there's still the potential for financial pressure to be inferred.

On the case itself, and given the persistent rumblings around the economics of Premiership rugby, I do wonder if the decision to pursue the doctors themselves was a pragmatic one.

The medics' professional insurance may have looked a more reliable source of recompense than a club, and insurers are usually ready to negotiate a settlement, even while disputing liability/blame.

Do we know with whom the club "successfully argued"? Presumably not in court, unless there was a preliminary hearing.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Bradwall Boy 09 January, 2019 14:12
Sounds like SS jumping off the hook on a technicality.

Bet they gave their lawyer a bonus after that one.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Grumpy Old Shark 09 January, 2019 17:37
Not sure that it is a technicality
If the club provide and pay for independent medical staff to make independent decisions re players fitness/welfare, is it not inevitable that those medics are responsible for the decisions that they make in the same way that an auditor has to act independently of the company that they are auditing.?

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
H's D 09 January, 2019 18:28
An unfortunate comparison.
Cue a disparaging post from iBozz on "Auditors failing to fulfill role in helping to reduce the high incidence of Corporate Creative Accounting".(Sm6)
I sincerely hope Doctors are far more diligent and conscientious than corporate accountants.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Grumpy Old Shark 09 January, 2019 19:08
Quote:
H's D
An unfortunate comparison.
Cue a disparaging post from iBozz on "Auditors failing to fulfill role in helping to reduce the high incidence of Corporate Creative Accounting".(Sm6)
I sincerely hope Doctors are far more diligent and conscientious than corporate accountants.

Indeed, but both are meant to be independent and responsible for their conclusions

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
H's D 10 January, 2019 00:08
Who do you think should have taken responsibility for Bloodgate occurring GOS?
For me it was all of the above. Not just the medic.
I'm not sure if the same can't be said for cases where an immediate HIA should be made, but isn't.

Baxter and Dimes have both critized the hair trigger for an HIA and the fact that players can then be off the pitch for 14 minutes after 'a slap to the head'. Baxter has also expressed concern how that trigger could be even more sensitive should Cillian Willis succeed in his legal action, and a doctors situation untenable when working in this field.

I'm not sure that I agree as I think Willis' injury in 2013 occurred when the far briefer and less comprehensive pitch-side concussion assessment (PSCA) was the protocol.
Did the Cillian Willis tragedy not play a small but significant part in the drive for a better safety protocol for head trauma? I remember his cousin BOD (the son of two physicians!) carried on (and was still apparently blind to possible consequences) in 2014 until he retired by occasionally "talking his way back onto the pitch"

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
WillC 10 January, 2019 11:10
I'm not sure that Bloodgate is a valid comparison. Bloodgate was a deliberate attempt to deceive by faking an injury and the club, the DOR and the doctors were all complicit.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
yukon 10 January, 2019 12:49
Quote:
WillC
I'm not sure that Bloodgate is a valid comparison. Bloodgate was a deliberate attempt to deceive by faking an injury and the club, the DOR and the doctors were all complicit.

Sadly, practical reality isn't enough to stop the beating of some drums.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Grumpy Old Shark 10 January, 2019 13:07
I personally think that it is important and should be mandatory that the medics are independent
In the bloodgate situation, they have to be ultimately responsible if only because they allowed their independence to be compromised.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Irish_Shark 10 January, 2019 13:20
Quote:
Grumpy Old Shark
I personally think that it is important and should be mandatory that the medics are independent
In the bloodgate situation, they have to be ultimately responsible if only because they allowed their independence to be compromised.
They cut his lip when the blood capsule didn't do the job.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
Bradwall Boy 10 January, 2019 15:35
Presumably there is an employer duty of care issue.

The employment status of the Doctor in question is surely a side issue and does not preclude SS from at least a portion of responsibility.

Willis had no say in the appointment of the doctor, that was solely the responsibility of SS.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
thekeg 10 January, 2019 15:36
Agree this is nothing like bloodgate, if there was any proof that club employees had influenced the medicís decision making then the claim here would still be against both the club and the doctors. The fact that only the doctors are being pursued now, who werenít club employees, suggests that they alone were respondinke for the decision making. In bloodgate the doctors were influenced by what the DOR was tellling them

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
thekeg 10 January, 2019 15:39
Quote:
Bradwall Boy
Presumably there is an employer duty of care issue.
The employment status of the Doctor in question is surely a side issue and does not preclude SS from at least a portion of responsibility.

Willis had no say in the appointment of the doctor, that was solely the responsibility of SS.

Itís a side issue in the sense that the claim is still being pursued, but itís not as far as determining precisely who is responsible. It suggests that the decision making was solely in the hands of the medical staff. The club canít be legally responsible for the behaviour of non employees if other employees havenít influenced them

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
H's D 10 January, 2019 16:14
I agree the overall circumstances are somewhat different, but from the Doctor's perspective there are similarities.
The comparison may become valid if (should the medic be found guilty) the doctors mitigation is he/she felt pressured into leaving Cillian Willis on the pitch.
The doctor certainly did that in Bloodgate.
Both would be less likely to occur with the RFU as the paymaster and appointer of doctors on matchdays.

If it's me you're suggesting is beating a drum yukon, journalists generally have been bringing up Head injuries for well over a decade. It's still a big issue, as is the level of injuries generally
Sam Peters has made it his personal crusade, not me.
Hobb5y has suggested a possible solution to one aspect of it all, and I think it's a good one. What do you think about it?

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
DaveAitch 10 January, 2019 19:54
The obvious thing for doctors to do is to declare a player unfit even if the injury evidence is minimal, especially so if there is even a hint of a head injury involved. In fact if doctors played their cards right, they could actually select the team.

Presumably the Willis legal team feel there is more chance of getting "a conviction" against the doctor(s) than against Sale as a whole. Presumably, too, the medics' legal team will use the argument (amongst others) that they, the medics, were pressured into making certain decisions by their 'employer'. If Sale themselves use the argument "nothing to do with us, gov", then see paragraph one.

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
b_sting 12 February, 2019 09:36
For those particularly interested in what has been going on with this case, I came across this article today which goes into a lot of good detail on it: [url=http://rugbyandthelaw.com/2019/02/11/cillian-willis-concussion-negligence/][/url]

Re: Club Statement: Cillian Willis
DaveAitch 13 February, 2019 08:40
Quote:
b_sting
For those particularly interested in what has been going on with this case, I came across this article today which goes into a lot of good detail on it: Cillian Willis

I've added his name into the url so it gives a 'press here' button to bring the article up.


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