Mr Cullen at the brain injury unit, where he was treated after the incident. (Supplied: Shine Lawyers)
A Queensland Country rugby league player who suffered a brain injury in a tackle is suing an opposing player and club for $1.4 million.
Liam Cullen, 32, filed a claim in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday to cover medical costs and loss of income after the alleged 2014 high shot left him unconscious.
An ambulance takes Mr Cullen off the field at Rowdens Park in St George. (Supplied: Shine Lawyers)
Mr Cullen’s claim said he was playing for St George in a first-grade match of the Roma and District Rugby League competition when an opposing player swung his right arm at him making direct contact with his head.
The claim stated Mr Cullen was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground after which the player fell on top of him and struck him again.
Mr Cullen was taken to the St George Hospital before being flown to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment at the brain injury rehabilitation unit.
Mr Cullen with his wife Rochelle and children Haven, Summer and Alba. (Supplied: Shine Lawyers)
The claim also alleged the tackle was intentional and in breach of the game’s rules, though it was not placed on report at the time.
He said he suffered injuries including neurocognitive deficits, post-traumatic headaches and anxiety as a result of the tackle.
Mr Cullen’s lawyer Nick Hart, from Shine Lawyers, said the tackle was similar to one made on Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater in an NRL match last weekend.
“Fortunately for Billy Slater he’s been able to walk away,” Mr Hart said.
“That’s something that Liam wasn’t able to do.
“He’s going to have to live with this condition for the rest of his life.
“We want to try and set him up so that he can get the treatment he requires – had it not been for the injury he would’ve been in a position where he could’ve provided for his kids more comfortably.”
Mr Hart said he hoped the legal action would improve safety in the game.
“We really want people to understand the serious consequences that could be had when players don’t play within the rules of the game, the rules are there to protect the players,” he said.