DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas Cowboys special teams coach and a scouting assistant who were seriously injured when the team’s indoor training facility collapsed have sued the companies that designed, built and maintained it. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered a broken neck in the May 2 collapse, and scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down.
“The collapse was the result of poor design of the structure as well as poor installation of the footings,” according to the complaints in Dallas County Court. The team was practicing inside the prefabricated structure because of thunderstorms.
Defendants include Summit Structures, which designed the building and foundation; Cover-All Building Systems, JCI Holding, Midwest Building and Fencing, Hilti Inc. and Wrangler Concrete Construction.
The plaintiffs say that 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. They say 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 complaints state.
The injured men did not sue the Dallas Cowboys. They say the defendants told the team that the design defects had been permanently repaired and that it met or exceeded City of Irving building codes, including requirements for wind loading resistance.
The plaintiffs say this is false: that the design defects had not been repaired.
“According to the available weather data, the surface winds which accompanied the thunderstorm did not meet or exceed the minimum wind velocity under the applicable code design criteria,” the plaintiffs say. “Accordingly, a building that satisfied the applicable code requirements would not have failed as the practice facility failed on that day.”
They seek damages for negligence, products liability, misrepresentation and conspiracy. They are represented by Frank Branson.