find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
AFL compo case may set precedent

AFL compo case may set precedent

Tim Fuller

Sports lawyers are keeping a close eye on the Brisbane Lions’ prospective lawsuit against Etihad Stadium and the AFL over an allegedly unsafe playing surface, Tim Fuller writes.

The season-ending injury to forward Michael Close has resulted in the Brisbane Lions considering legal action against Etihad Stadium and the Australian Football League (AFL). By all reports, Close injured his knee on the artificial turf that is used at Etihad in areas of high player traffic.

The Australian Football League Players Association (AFLPA) has commissioned a report to determine if the artificial turf was found to have played a role in Close’s injury. If so, it is suggested the Brisbane Lions will have a legitimate claim for compensation for the season loss of their player.

Sporting venues, organisers and occupiers are required under law to provide a safe environment of use for all participants. The days of playing football on grounds that feature rock-hard cricket pitches in the middle are gone. Sporting venues are highly aware of the duty of care owed to all participants (players, referees, trainers) in a sporting event and participant welfare is treated very seriously.

At a professional level, the standard of care is higher and venue organisers work hard to ensure surfaces are “fit for play”. In recent times, professional sport played at certain venues has attracted significant criticism of surfaces that have at times resembled a “beach”, with damaged areas covered in sand. In retrospect, it has been a minor miracle that no serious injuries have resulted from sub-standard playing surfaces in our biggest professional sports.

The weekend events have shone the spotlight on stadium operators and the decisions they take in presenting their venues ready for play. With broadcasting dictating mostly everything in professional sport now, artificial turf is used to present a better image for television than threadbare surfaces. Advertising signs precariously close to the field of play are another example of the power of the broadcaster, and players have at time made heavy contact with these signs.

The outcome of the Brisbane Lions prospective legal action could prove fascinating. With reports stating that the Lions are seeking more than $100,000 in compensation, this could prove interesting to the dynamics of professional sport in this country.

On an increasing basis, professional sport is examining all issues and scenarios through the workplace prism. In the modern era, it is clear individual players or teams will not treat detrimental events on a sporting field as “what happens on the field, stays on the field”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

AFL compo case may set precedent
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...