There have been two lawsuits filed arising out of the collapse on May 2nd of the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility in Irving. A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant who was left paralyzed, and a special-teams coach whose neck was broken in the incident, have filed separate lawsuits against the Pennsylvania-based company that built the structure. The lawsuits, which also name an engineer and five other companies involved in construction and maintenance of the facility, allege that structural problems and code violations were kept from the team for years before the tent-like structure collapsed in gusting winds.
Rich Behm, who was paralyzed from the waist down, and coach Joe DeCamillis, are seeking both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Summit Structures is the company that built the practice facility. It should be noted that the Cowboys are not named in the lawsuits.
Summit entered into a contract in 2003 to build the facility. Two other companies — Canada-based Cover-All and Minnesota-based Midwest Building and Fencing — were involved in the construction, and Burleson-based Wrangler Concrete Construction poured the foundation. Hilti, a Tulsa company, provided an adhesive material; JCI Holding and Scott Jacobs were involved in the engineering. The building reportedly was designed to sustain winds of up to 90 mph for up to three seconds. The highest winds that day were around 58 mph.
The lawsuits, filed in a Dallas state court, contend that the structure’s concrete foundation was improperly constructed and that the facility should have been repaired or rebuilt after design problems were discovered in 2007. The lawsuits say that while the Cowboys were informed, the problems were never addressed.
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