The Plaintiff, Mr Holman, was a professional soccer player for an A-League club who entered into an ‘A-League Standard Player Contract’ (First SPC), pursuant to which Mr Holman was engaged to play for the Defendant, Brisbane Roar, in the A-League.
Brisbane Roar, the other A-League football clubs and Football Federation Australia (FFA) on the one hand, and Arch Insurance on the other, entered into a Professional Sports Group Accident Insurance Policy (the Policy). The Policy provided Lump Sum benefits, Temporary Total Disablement (TTD) benefits and Additional Benefits payable where A-League players (and others) sustained bodily injury caused by an accident.
Mr Holman sustained an injury while playing in an A-League match on behalf of Roar.
Mr Holman and the Club subsequently entered into a further ‘A-League Standard Player Contract’ (Second SPC) after he sustained his injury.
The Club paid Mr Holman’s salary but also received the TTD benefits from Arch for the term of the SPCs. The dispute was whether the Club, or Mr Holman, was entitled to those TTD benefits and also whether the correct measure of the benefits payable under the Policy was by reference to the salary calculated under the First SPC or calculated under the Second SPC.
Porter QC DCJ regarded the policy as difficult to interpret. His Honour construed the policy, as a whole, as entitling Mr Holman to the whole of the TTD Benefits in addition to his contractual salary entitlements. His Honour rejected the Club’s submission that it was also an “Assured” under the Policy entitled to benefits.
Matthew Doyle appeared for the Plaintiff, instructed by Gadens.
Matthew Jones appeared for the Defendant, instructed by Mills Oakley.
The judgment is published here.
The Sydney Morning Herald published this article about the matter.