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Dallas Cowboys Staffers File Lawsuits Over Sport Facility Collapse

A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant who was left paralyzed and a special-teams coach whose neck was broken in the May 2 collapse of the team’s practice facility in Irving 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, contend that structural problems and code violations were kept from the team for years before the tentlike structure collapsed in gusting winds.

Rich Behm, who was paralyzed from the waist down, and coach Joe DeCamillis are seeking an undisclosed amount for their pain and suffering and for punitive damages.


Both men are being represented by a Dallas attorney, who has been collecting documents and statements in recent months from Summit Structures, the company that built the practice facility. The Cowboys are not named in the lawsuits.

Summit Chief Executive Nathan Stobbe wrote in a May 25 statement that National Weather Service data showed a “microburst impacted the Valley Ranch area,” where the structure collapsed.

“Other Summit Structures buildings — such as the Texas A&M practice facility in College Station — have sustained hurricane force winds with no damage,” Stobbe wrote. “But a microburst is different . . . and its destructive power is not unlike a tornado.”

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, “I don’t think much of that defense,” he said. “They said it would sustain up to 90 mph winds for up to three seconds. The highest we found that day was 58 mph.”

According to the suit, Summit was contracted 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, according to the lawsuit.

Hilti, a Tulsa company, provided an adhesive material; JCI Holding and Scott Jacobs were involved in the engineering, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuits, filed in 191st District Court in Dallas, 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 the Cowboys were informed but that, in fact, the flaws were not addressed.

If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.

If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.

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