Jury selection underway for suit filed by Cowboys worker hurt by falling ice

Jury selection underway for suit filed by Cowboys worker hurt by falling ice

Credit: AP

Firefighters tethered by safety ropes use a water hose to knock down ice and snow from the roof of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. The Green Bay Packers face the Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL football's Super Bowl XLV on Sunday (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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by TANYA EISERER

WFAA

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

DALLAS –– Jury selection began Monday in a Dallas County courtroom in the case of a Super Bowl halftime worker who sued after he was injured by falling ice in 2011.

Lawyers representing Severin Sampson contend that the Dallas Cowboys and the stadium's architects failed to consider the potential danger of falling ice and snow. Sampson suffered a "closed head injury," as well as "cognitive" and "emotional" injuries, as a result of the accident.

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 had collected on the stadium's roof.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

In court today, lawyers from both sides argued about whether Sampson's marijuana usage was relevant. Sampson tested positive for marijuana on the day of the accident.

Sampson's attorneys argued that it was not relevant and that it would unfairly prejudice the jurors. Attorneys representing the Cowboys argued that it was and they cited a report from a doctor that indicated Sampson's injuries had been complicated by marijuana usage.

Jordan ultimately decided that the doctor's report did make it relevant and he said he would allow in the drug testing from the day of the accident.

During the pre-trial hearing, the judge also quashed a subpoena for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Cowboys attorneys argued that he had no unique knowledge about the stadium's architecture. 

Sampson's attorneys argued that Jones was intimately involved in the planning and building of the stadium. They also cited a 2009 incident involving falling ice and said a memo was written and passed along about it. 

They indicated they wanted to ask about that 2009 incident and ask why something wasn't done at that time to prevent ice and snow from falling from the roof. 

Email teiserer@wfaa.com

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