NRL 2022: Josh Dugan, Cronulla Sharks, court, suing, unfair dismissal, pandemic, Covid protocols, lithgow

Ex-NRL star Josh Dugan will consider taking legal action against the Sharks for wrongful dismissal if he’s successful in court later this year.

Dugan was sacked by Cronulla last year after he was charged with an alleged breach of the New South Wales public health order during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Blues and Kangaroos winger was stopped driving through Lithgow in the Blues Mountains while Sydneysiders were restricted to travel within five kilometres of their homes.

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Solicitor Paul McGirr argued in Lithgow Court on August 31 that the case against his client was flawed because he was unaware of the Covid protocols at the time.

The matter still before the courts and a decision due on December 2.

Dugan’s Sharks contract was then wrongly terminated on September 10, according to McGirr, and reportedly still had more than $100,000 of his contract to be paid.

“He was terminated because of this breach, therefore, you would think if he had been terminated unlawfully, he would have to have a civil action,” McGirr told The Daily Telegraph.

“And not only for the losses at the time for the particular matter but his name and reputation have been sullied. Josh Dugan has always declared his innocence in respect to this.

“It would be like me saying that you’re sacked for stealing something when it turns out you didn’t take anything.

“The law only changed a matter of days before (the incident) and he had the understanding he was doing the right thing and he was terminated on that basis.

“He is certainly looking at his legal options in respect to an action against his employer at the time.”

The Sharks settled with former player Todd Carney in 2017 after he brought an unfair dismissal claim against the club.

Originally published as ‘Terminated unlawfully’: Ex-NRL star Josh Dugan considering suing Sharks over Covid-19 sacking

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