Attorney: Ex-Cowboy settles lawsuit over collapse

By Danny Robbins

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 4 2011 4:46 p.m. MST

FILE - In this May 2, 2009 file photo, emergency personnel stand near the Dallas Cowboys practice field structure that collapsed during a passing storm in Irving, Texas. Tight end Jamar Hunt, a former Dallas Cowboys player who was inside the team's practice facility when it collapsed in 2009 has settled a lawsuit against the company that designed the facility and companies operated by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the player's attorney said Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

Tony Gutierrez, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

DALLAS — A former Dallas Cowboys player who was inside the team's practice facility when it collapsed in 2009 has settled a lawsuit against the company that designed the facility and companies operated by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the player's attorney said Friday.

Tight end Jamar Hunt received an undisclosed amount as a result of the settlement with Summit Structures and its Canadian parent, Cover-All Building Systems Inc., and two corporations controlled by Jones, attorney Michael Guajardo said.

Hunt, the only player known to have filed a lawsuit over the accident, was on the Cowboys' roster as a rookie free agent when the tent-like structure fell in a wind storm on May 2, 2009. The tight end from Texas-El Paso contended that he suffered a herniated disk in his neck when a steel support landed on him.

Hunt was cut by the Cowboys before training camp that year, and he hasn't been able to catch on with another NFL team because of the injury, Guajardo said.

"The compensation is great for Jamar and his family," Guajardo said. "But if he had his choice, he'd wish this hadn't happened and he was playing in the NFL."

A Cowboys spokesman said the team would have no comment.

Hunt was among 27 players participating in a rookie minicamp when the 88,000-square-foot facility collapsed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the building fell in winds of 55 to 65 mph but should have been able to withstand winds of up to 90 mph.

Hunt intervened in a lawsuit filed by special teams coach Joe DeCamillas, who suffered a broken vertebrae in the disaster and received $9.5 million in settlements. Team scout Rich Behm, whose injuries left him paralyzed from the waist down, settled a similar suit for $24.5 million.

Guajardo said Hunt had a shot to make an NFL team because he also was a deep snapper.

"The appeal of Jamar was his versatility," Guajardo said. "He didn't have a great chance of making the Cowboys, because of all the great tight ends they have. But there were six or seven other teams with a high level of interest."

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