On November 15, 2012, Brett Hartmann, a former punter for the Houston Texans, filed a lawsuit in Harris County District Court, located in Texas. In the lawsuit, Hartmann names SMG and the Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation as defendants, and cites Astroturf used in Reliant Stadium as the cause of serious injuries to his left leg.
Hartmann, who began playing for the Texans in the summer of 2011, played for only 12 games, having injured himself in December 2011. During play in December, Hartmann's foot became lodged in a seam separating one piece of AstroTurf from the next. This caused the punter to tear his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and fracture his proximal fibula. In the lawsuit, Hartmann is claiming that poor turf maintenance directly caused his injuries.
This could very well be a career ending injury, especially for a punter. At the very least, Hartmann will require more surgeries in addition to the two surgeries he has already had. He was cut from the Texans in August 2012.
Hartmann's accident is really no different than a typical fall down accident that we handle every day. Hartmann was injured on someone’s property (the stadium owner’s property) because of a defect on the property (the Astroturf was faulty) which should have been designed and maintained with the safety of players in mind. This was a foreseeable event, and as a result of the defendant property owner and/or the owner’s employee’s negligence in not maintaining the Astroturf properly, Hartman was injured and sustained damages. Those damages include his physical injuries, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages and future lost income.Furthermore, it would seem that Hartmann also has a workman's comp claim since he was injured while working.
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