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Cowboys Stadium Falling Ice Civil Trial Begins

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
Jennifer joined CBS 11 News in September 2013. For her, the move ...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A former Super Bowl worker, who was hit by a piece of ice falling from Cowboys Stadium three years ago, is getting his day in court.

Severin Sampson was one of six workers setting up for the 2011 Super Bowl when he was hit. Sampson claims the injury has caused a constant ringing in his right ear, which has cost him his career as a sound engineer.  His attorney, Brian Butcher, also told the jury that someone should have known about the risk.

The civil trial, which started Tuesday, could last two to four weeks.  Sampson filed a lawsuit against five parties: the NFL, Dallas Cowboys, stadium architects HKS and contract contract companies Safe Management and Populous.  Each defendant has their own attorney, can call their own witnesses and cross examine every witness, which will make testimony for lengthy.

Among the first witnesses to take the stand, the man who managed the stadium’s roof construction.  He told the jury he was concerned about falling ice early on in the project.

A stadium architect testified gutters in place along the roof line were designed to catch rain and were twice the size required.  However, those gutters were not designed to catch ice and snow,  because that’s not required by code.

Last on the stand for the day, a Cowboys employee, who deflected responsibility for what Sampson’s attorney says was delay in shutting down the stadium. The employee told the jury the decision was a collaborative effort with Arlington police and the fire department.

The injured worker is seeking millions in damages, in fact his attorney said, several million dollars may not be enough.

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