DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas civil court jury late Tuesday returned a verdict in the case of a worker at Super Bowl LXV who was hit by falling ice from the football stadium in Arlington. It absolved stadium architects HKS of any blame, but put most of it on the Cowboys, the NFL and event managers at what was then Cowboys Stadium.
“It was a win for us. We couldn’t get the architects, but that’s okay.” Though the jury didn’t assess any blame to the stadium designer, Severin Sampson was pleased that the other parties had settled with him last week.
“The stadium and the NFL, the lies that they told, especially about me forcing my way through security. That was their take on Day One. And that was proved in court not to be the case,” he told reporters following the jury verdict.
Sampson was hit by falling ice as he prepared to work at the stadium in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. He claims it caused painful and persistent ringing in his right ear, where he still wears a hearing aid. He said it cost him his livelihood as a sound engineer. He and his attorney, Brian Butcher, felt it was avoidable. “More than two hours passed between the first person was hit by ice and Mr. Sampson was hit by ice. During that time nobody took decisive action to shut down the stadium.”
The architect testified its standards were more than double to handle rain but did not take into account a freak ice storm, saying code did not require it. “Of course I’m pleased. I’m a trial lawyer,” said Hollye Fisk, attorney for the firm.
The Cowboys and the stadium, now AT&T Stadium, did not comment on the suit. And under the agreement parties were not allowed to talk about how much money was involved in the settlement. “It was something I think that was fair and should’ve been done a long time ago,” according to Butcher. Sampson said it was in the ballpark of what he was asking for during mediation preceding the trial.
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