ex-player seeks damages for injuries at practice facility
DALLAS — A former Dallas Cowboys player who was inside the team’s indoor practice facility when it collapsed las t year contends the accident caused a career-ending injury and he wants unspecified damages f rom the builder and companies operated by team owner Jerry Jones.
Tight end Jamar Hunt, who was on the Cowboys’ roster as a rookie free agent last spring, said in a court filing that he suffered “serious, disabling and permanent injuries” when the tentlike structure fell on May 2, 2009. Hunt was cut by the Cowboys before training camp last year and has yet to catch on with another NFL team.
Hunt’s attorney, Michael Guajardo, said the player suffered a herniated disk in his neck when a steel support landed on him. He said Hunt, who is also a deep snapper, faces a “double-edged sword” because he can’t be cleared to play without surgery, but having the surgery will brand him as a damaged commodity to NFL teams.
“You see NFL players bouncing back from this (injury), but those are veteran players with a history of success,” Guajardo said. “With a rookie, teams are reluctant to take a chance.”
Hunt, who played at TexasEl Paso, was among 27 players participating in a rookie minicamp in the 88,000-square-foot facility when it crumpled in a wind storm. An inquiry by the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the facility fell in winds of 55 mph to 65 mph — far less than the 90 mph wind speed specified by engineering standards. The Cowboys’ indoor practice facility collapsed during a storm on May 2, 2009 while 27 rookies were participating in a minicamp.