Morné Mellett is taking legal action against the Blue Bulls Company and the team’s doctor, citing negligence relating to the career-ending injury he suffered three years ago.
Mellett suffered a serious neck injury during the Bulls’ Super Rugby match against the Kings in 2015, which forced him into early retirement.
He alleges that Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw examined him on the field and cleared him to continue playing in the game despite knowing of the health risks it held for the player. He was later advised to quit rugby because of a blood clot, which is still in his head and could at anytime move to his brain.
According to a medical report filed in the court papers, in which Mellett is claiming R45-million in damages, the knock to the right side of his neck caused a rupture to the vertebral vein that supplies blood to the brain.
‘Immediately after the game, Mellett was off balance, couldn’t feel his fingers and was unable to describe to doctors what [was] wrong. A few hours after the game, he suffered a stroke.’
Jan Lamprecht, the player’s legal representative, says the injury and the consequences thereof have been very traumatic for Mellett.
‘His dream to play rugby was taken away in an instant and now he has to walk around with the knowledge that he can die at any moment because of the blood clot.’
The Bulls have already indicated that they will contest the case.