Two Houston Texans fans injured during a game have hired Beaumont attorney Brent Coon to represent them in lawsuits against the team.
According to KHOU 11 News, Scott Woodard, 55, is suing the Houston Texans, SMG and the Harris County Convention and Sports Corp.
Woodard claims that while he was watching the Sept. 9 season opener at Reliant Stadium he was suddenly struck in the head by what he first thought was a beer bottle. It turned out to be an aluminum panel from a display board that fell about 15 feet and struck Woodard and another fan. Woodard had to go to Methodist Hospital for treatment and received seven stitches.
The lawsuit claims that the three companies did not properly install the panel, did not properly inspect and maintain the panel, didn't train their employees to maintain the panel and didn't provide Woodard a safe place to sit at the stadium.
Woodard is seeking damages for the defendants’ alleged negligence, including damages for past and future physical pain and mental anguish, medical expenses, past and future earnings losses, physical impairment, disfigurement, court costs and other relief.
Another fan, Brian Black, says he was sitting two seats away from Woodard and was also struck by falling metal from the panel. Black received a bump on the head. He has also hired Coon.
At a press conference at Coon’s Houston office on Wednesday, the attorney said he has filed a temporary restraining order asking that Reliant and the Texans not destroy any evidence so that lawyers and independent experts can review it.
In a statement a Reliant spokesperson said they are working closely with the manufacturer of the display boards to make sure they are all secured and safe.
“We are continuing to work with the manufacturer to determine what caused the panel to fall, but at this time it appears the cause may have been mischief.”
ABC 13 reported that Woodard is a NASA engineer, and that he is concerned over the design and construction issues associated with the equipment that fell on his head.
Both men said they will still support the Texans and will continue to attend games, although Black told local media that he plans to wear a hard hat to the next game.