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John Barnes speaks on AFL concussion claims

3AW News

The man at the centre of the AFL concussion case has told Neil Mitchell he’d “probably have played with a helmet on” if he knew the effects the game would have on his health.

John Barnes told 3AW Mornings he just wants answers.

“I’m trying to keep my head above water,” Mr Barnes said.

“I’ve probably had nine (epileptic fits) in the past five years.”

Click PLAY below to hear John speaking with Neil Mitchell

The 48-year-old has agreed to be the lead plaintiff in proposed federal court action against the AFL and its clubs, telling that his epilepsy, memory loss and anger issues stem from his football career, as revealed by 3AW Football’s Mick Warner in the Herald Sun.

The Essendon premiership ruckman and former Cat has been battling health issues since retiring from the AFL in 2001.

Sports law specialist Paul Horvath told Ross and John it is difficult to compare today’s knowledge about concussion risks to when Barnes was playing.

“It’s what’s reasonably foreseeable, as in what the AFL clubs could foresee that may have led to an injury of a player, and they didn’t take steps to prevent or eliminate those risks,” Mr Horvath said.

“You’ve got to point the finger at someone and say someone has breached their duty of care.”

Click PLAY below to hear full discussion

There has been similar action in the United States, where gridiron players reaching a $1 billion settlement with the NFL.