NFL, Cowboys Settle Stadium Ice Lawsuit, Architecture Firm Not Liable

Jurors decided the architects of Cowboys Stadium are not responsible for falling ice that injured a worker in 2011.

Severin Sampson sued the Dallas Cowboys, the National Football League and three other entities for damages related to injuries he suffered while preparing for the Super Bowl XL halftime show.

On the first full day of deliberations, it was announced that Sampson had reached a settlement with the NFL and the Cowboys for an undisclosed amount last week.

"They met the demand that I asked for during mediation, if they would have come up and met that demand in mediation, we would have never had a court case,"  said Sampson. "I do think the architects do have a piece to play, but the jury said 'no' and that's their decision."

Tuesday afternoon, the jury ruled that the architects had zero liability, while the team was 70 percent liable and the NFL 25 percent liable.

Court sources confirmed Tuesday morning that Sampson settled on Thursday for an undisclosed amount with the NFL, Cowboys, and other parties in the lawsuit with the exception of the architecture firm behind the stadium, HKS.

The architectural firm did not settle with Sampson, instead deciding to await the decision of a jury.

Jury deliberations began Monday but ended with no decision. Jurors returned Tuesday to make a decision on the liability of the architecture firm.

An unprecedented ice storm coated the roof of then-Cowboys Stadium – now known as AT&T Stadium – in 2011. While preparations were underway for the football game, ice melted from the roof of the stadium, and chunks hit Sampson. Sampson said he suffered physically and mentally as a result.

During the trial, Sampson said he’s been unable to work. He added that his injuries still affect his balance, which cause nausea. Sampson testified that he cannot lift weights over 10 pounds, climb ladders or work at any height due to his injuries.

Sampson was also forced to admit that he signed a safety compliance agreement with his employer, Touchdown Entertainment, that included using only designated entrances and exits at the stadium while working and wearing proper safety equipment including a hard hat at all times.

Sampson admitted he was not wearing a hard hat when the falling ice hit him. He also testified that safety headgear was not provided for him by his employer.

Jeff Smith and Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

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