$12,040 Fine for Cowboys’ Roof Collapse

     DALLAS (CN) – The engineer who approved plans for the Dallas Cowboys’ collapsed indoor practice facility was ordered to pay $12,040 in penalties by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers – a fine that two injured men’s attorney called insufficient.



     Enrique Tabak, of Toronto, agreed to pay the administrative penalty in August and has been making quarterly payments that are due to end in June, The Associated Press reported.
     “A review of the original design documents prepared by Mr. Tabak, indicated that several design aspects of the structure had not been thoroughly analyzed prior to manufacturing and construction and did not appear to be in compliance with various manufacturing, design and building codes,” according to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers order. “Therefore, it appears that, when licensed in Texas as a professional engineer, Mr. Tabak signed and sealed design plans that were not prepared in a careful and diligent manner and that his certification was misleading.”
     During a thunderstorm on May 2, 2009, the Irving facility collapsedduring a rookie minicamp. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered a broken neck, and scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down.
     TBPE executive director Lance Kinney told the AP the fine is one of the largest handed out by the agency in recent years.
     “This isn’t just another jaywalking-type thing,” Kinney said. “It’s a significant fine for us.”
     Kinney said the strongest penalty is revocation of a license, but Tabak is no longer licensed or practicing in Texas.
     In August 2009, DeCamillis sued Summit Structures, which designed the building and foundation, Cover-All Building Systems, JCI Holding, Midwest Building and Fencing, Hilti Inc. and Wrangler Concrete Construction.
     He said Midwest cored holes in the foundation that were deeper or larger than designed, which resulted in Hilti’s adhesive being unable to completely cover submerged portions of the threaded rods. He said the adhesive was improperly applied, as there was evidence of incomplete adhesive application in some of the foundation holes.
     “These failings constitute poor workmanship which impacted the load-bearing capacity of the design,” the complaint stated.
     Greg Marks, attorney for Behm and DeCamillis, told the AP that Tabak’s penalty is woefully inadequate.
     “Twelve thousand dollars wouldn’t even pay for the first day of Rich Behm’s hospitalization, when his spine was snapped like a toothpick,” the attorney said.

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