DALLAS – Acclaimed attorney Frank L. Branson of Dallas is announcing a settlement on behalf of Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant Richard Behm and special teams coach Joe DeCamillis for severe injuries suffered by both men in the May 2009 collapse of a team practice facility in Irving, Texas.
Combined settlements for the two men now total $34 million. The most recent settlement, which was finalized August 27, ends legal claims against a group of companies owned by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, including Blue Star Development Co. and Cowboys Center, Ltd.
In May, Mr. Branson reached a separate settlement on behalf of Mr. Behm and Mr. DeCamillis following lawsuits against the practice facility’s manufacturer, Allentown, Pa.-based Summit Structures LLC, and Summit’s parent company, Cover-All Building Systems Inc. of Saskatoon, Canada.
“While claims are still pending against the building’s engineers, we are very pleased to have this portion of the lawsuit settled,” says Mr. Branson, founder of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson. “Rich and Joe also want to thank Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and the rest of the Jones family and the Dallas Cowboys football organization for all of the support they provided them throughout this ordeal. They truly treated these men as their own.”
According to terms of the two settlements, Mr Behm and his family received a total settlement valued at more than $24 million. Mr DeCamillis and his family received a total settlement valued at more than $9 million.
Mr. Behm, Mr. DeCamillis and several others were seriously injured at the Valley Ranch practice facility when the roof of the structure split open during a thunderstorm, causing heavy steel supports to crumple and fall. Mr. Behm’s spine was severed, resulting in his paralysis from the waist down. Mr. DeCamillis suffered a severe compression fracture, including the dislocation of a cervical vertebrae. An investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the building’s collapse was caused by design failures that included faulty wind-load calculations, weak steel framing and vulnerable joints, among other shortcomings.
Engineer Scott Jacobs and engineering services company JCI Holding LLC of Las Vegas still face claims of negligence and gross negligence for their roles in the building’s collapse. Both have filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represents clients in cases involving complex product liability, catastrophic injury, commercial air crashes, professional negligence, and business torts.<Back