Alex McKinnon says he could sue the NRL over the tackle that ended his rugby league career.
Speaking to Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes on Sunday night, McKinnon said the massive cost of his round-the-clock care since he suffered the spinal injury in March last year has resulted in him considering legal action.
McKinnon received the maximum $500,000 compensation payout from the NRL and around $1.2 million was raised towards his medical costs during last season’s Rise For Alex round. But McKinnon said long-term that will be nowhere near enough.
“I had no idea how much this injury was going to cost,” he said.
“I didn’t know until two weeks ago it cost $100,000 for me to get out of bed in the morning.
“I just need to know how much it is going to cost me, how much money I have and where I (am) going to get that money from.
“The NRL has been unreal for me. Both myself and the NRL are on very foreign ground really. I don’t know how much it will cost and they don’t know how much they can give me.
“When you think about it $100,000 a year and 50 years that is five million, I need a car, a house…”
McKinnon could be entitled to a sum of around $10 million, according to reports.
Seven-time premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett, who was coaching Newcastle when McKinnon was injured and is a long-time mentor of the junior representative forward, said he was entitled to take the NRL to court.
“Alex’s only concern is how he will be if things don’t get better for him and he has to be in full-time care for the rest of his life,” Bennett said.
“He doesn’t want to be in that situation in 30 years time when everybody forgets who Alex McKinnon is and he has no money to be able to provide the services he needs on a daily basis.
“He wants to have a family (and) he wants to have a normal life, as much as he possibly can, so it is very hard to be critical of him if he doesn’t feel it is is happening for him and he feels it is an opportunity legally for him to bring that to a head.
“You have to understand, this wasn’t an accident in the sense it was an illegal tackle. That is the difference.”