NRL player’s lawyer predicts more civil suits

Scott Bailey |

Former Manly player Lloyd Perrett (centre) is threatening to take the club to the Supreme Court.
Former Manly player Lloyd Perrett (centre) is threatening to take the club to the Supreme Court.

The lawyer representing former Manly prop Lloyd Perrett in proposed legal action against the Sea Eagles has predicted a spate of more civil suits could loom against professional sporting clubs.

Perrett revealed he is planning to launch action over a training session in late 2017, which left him hospitalised with heat stroke after suffering a seizure.

The former member of Queensland’s Emerging State of Origin squad recovered to play again in 2018, but his career fell away and he was released by Manly in 2019.

Perrett’s lawyer, Peter Carter of Carter Capner Law, confirmed to AAP the matter was being investigated with the former prop aiming to pursue damages.

Once papers are lodged with the NSW Supreme Court, Manly will become the second club being pursued by a former player over a training incident.

The news comes a week after Jackson Topine initiated legal action against Canterbury for close to $4 million in damages following a wrestling session last July.

Topine claims he suffered a “psychiatric injury” after being forced to wrestle up to 36 teammates back-to-back after being late to a session.

Canterbury will deny parts of the claim, having publicly stated they will defend the themselves in the civil case.

But Carter foreshadowed the possibility of more cases.

“I do think there probably will be more,” Carter told AAP.

“I think it just means (clubs) will be under the same sort of scrutiny any organisation is with their employees or contractors.

“If (players) are injured as a result and their career is affected, they should be able to (pursue damages). That’s a good thing in my opinion.”

In an interview with Wide World of Sports, Perrett said he had been prompted to start legal action after the death of Keith Titmuss at Manly training in 2020.

The findings of a coronial inquest into Titmuss’s death are due on Friday.

The 29-year-old said he had been suffering from “survivor’s guilt”, and wanted to set a standard for training styles at NRL clubs.

The prop also claimed he was never the same footballer following his collapse at age 23, which he said came after players were discouraged from drinking water during a running session.

“I didn’t want to do this, but I felt like everything in my life got taken from me,” Perrett said.

“It was gone in an instant and I am still feeling the effects, mentally and physically.

“Taking legal action has been dangled in front of me since it all happened, but my manager at the time said ‘you’ll win but never play footy again’… so I held off.

“I think the result of the Keith Titmuss inquiry was the final straw. That’s when I decided to take action.”

Manly were contacted by AAP on Wednesday, but could not comment given they had not received any legal documentation.

None of the Sea Eagles’ current training staff were with Manly during Perrett’s time at the club. 

Perrett’s hospitalisation and Titmuss’s death also occurred under two separate coaching regimes, and there is no suggestion the incidents are linked.