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Testimony Begins In Super Bowl Ice Lawsuit

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
Stephanie is an Emmy Award winning veteran reporter for CBS 11 N...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Anyone who was in North Texas three years ago remembers the ice that covered the Metroplex just as the Super Bowl came to town. A winter storm pounded DFW under the nation’s watchful eye. But as that ice began to thaw, some of it came crashing down from the top of AT&T Stadium in Arlington — then Cowboys Stadium.

Six workers were hurt when the ice cascaded off of the stadium’s roof in February 2011. A lawsuit against the stadium’s architects and the Dallas Cowboys got under way on Tuesday morning, after the jury was selected on Monday.

Severin Sampson is one of those men who was injured. He was working as a sound engineer for the Super Bowl’s halftime show. Jury members on Tuesday were told that Sampson was hit by a sheet of ice the size of an car. He suffered a fractured skull, blood running out of his ear, traumatic brain injury and some permanent hearing loss. He still has some medical issues more than three years later.

Brian Butcher is Sampson’s attorney. He said that stadium officials and the NFL knew about the emergency situation — they were first notified about the falling ice after a golf cart’s canopy was punctured, injuring a woman inside. But they failed to act quickly. Attempts to contact the stadium’s general manager went unanswered.

A large number of people were preparing for the Super Bowl that day, as ice started hitting the ground. But, according to Butcher, the team and the building’s designers did not do enough to protect people from falling ice.

Butcher said that Sampson lost his career as a sound engineer, because of a constant loud ringing now in his ears and the hearing loss. According to the attorney, Sampson will be asking for several million dollars in damages. The trial could last two to four weeks.

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