DALLAS –– Former Super Bowl half time worker Severin Sampson is suing the NFL after he was severely injured by falling ice from what was then known as Cowboys Stadium in 2011. Thursday marked the ninth day in the civil suit he filed against the NFL and four other contractors responsible for Super Bowl XLV.
Attorneys for Sampson are arguing organizers "gambled with people's safety."
Lawyers for Sampson say his skull was cracked and suffered permanent hearing loss. Falling ice injured about a half a dozen other people two days before Super Bowl XLV when warming temperatures melted the snow and ice that collected on the stadium's roof.
While the NFL is named in the lawsuit, they were not in court alone. Attorneys also represented four other contractors that organized and help put on the Super Bowl.
Also named are the Dallas Cowboys; Populus, a construction company; HKS, the architects behind Cowboys Stadium; and S.A.F.E., management a security contractor. Lawyers are now combing through a complex web of contracts to try and show a jury who was liable, and possibly negligent.
Frank Supovitz , the NFL’s senior vice president of events, was questioned by both sides.
While Supovitz, is ultimately tasked with keeping the lights on, he says he contracts out work and says it is impossible to foresee everything that could go wrong.
“I can't say I would have advance knowledge of how any given contractor would act during every emergency,” he said. "I don't believe it was our (NFL) responsibility to inspect the stadium for ice before the Super Bowl."
He testified that it was a surprise that ice began falling off the roof.
Others injured by falling ice have sued. Some settled out of court. Sampson didn't. Three years after ice put him in the hospital, a jury's verdict may finally decide who, if anyone, is at fault.