Lawsuit filed in canopy collapse

Updated: May 5, 2011, 1:44 AM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- A Dallas Cowboys spokeswoman who says she was hurt when the team's practice facility collapsed during a 2009 storm has filed a lawsuit.

A Cowboys spokeswoman claims in a lawsuit that she suffered undisclosed injuries when the team's practice facility collapsed two years ago.

Jancy Briles, a member of the team's public relations staff and the daughter of Baylor football coach Art Briles, is suing companies involved in building or designing the steel and fabric structure. The lawsuit, filed April 29, contends that Briles should recover damages for suffering "serious, disabling and permanent injuries."

The defendants include Summit Structures LLC of Allentown, Pa., and its Canadian parent, Cover-All Building Systems Inc. Cover-All was dissolved after filing for bankruptcy in March 2010.

The Cowboys were conducting a rookie minicamp when the 88,000-square-foot building fell in a wind storm on May 2, 2009. The National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the structure should have been able to withstand the wind gusts, which were between 55 mph and 65 mph.

Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered broken vertebrae in the accident, and scout Rich Behm was left paralyzed from the waist down. They have received settlements totaling $35 million from Summit Structures and companies controlled by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

A player, tight end Jamar Hunt from Texas-El Paso, also received a settlement for an undisclosed amount from those companies as a result of suffering a herniated disk in his neck.

Briles' attorney did not respond to a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.

Kent Anderson, senior vice president for Norseman Group Ltd., said his company bought Cover-All assets in June 2010 and bears no responsibility for any past or future legal matters related to Cover-All. An email sent to Summit Structures was returned as undeliverable.

Norseman Group is based in Edmonton, Alberta.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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