Ex-Texans player sues over career-ending injury - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Ex-Texans player sues over career-ending injury

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Former Texans punter Brett Hartmann said he thought the field at Reliant Stadium just didn't look right for the Dec. 4, 2011 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

"I noticed the field was pretty tore up, especially with the high school game the day before," Hartmann said.

"I just remember that day and already seeing how tore up the field looked just from my seat in the stands, much less being right there on the field," Gene Egdorf, Hartmann's attorney, said.

Hartmann filed a lawsuit, saying he suffered a significant and career-threatening knee injury after a punt during the last minute of the Texans' 17:10 victory over the Falcons.  The lawsuit states Hartmann suffered his devastating injury when his foot was caught in a seam in the grass turf.

"Kind of frustrated," Hartmann said.  "It wasn't like I got hit or something like that or I was down there trying to make a tackle."

The lawsuit states SMG failed to do what they were supposed to do: roll and check the field and eliminate seams caused by all the grass trays that make up the field.  It's a problem brought up before by two Super Bowl-winning coaches Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy.

"When Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy tell ya it's an unsafe field, I think that's pretty compelling stuff," Egdorf said.

While the Texans aren't named as defendants, we asked Texas Coach Gary Kubiak what he thought of the lawsuit.

"First off, I'm not going to comment on that, but I will say this: I think our field is great.  Our guys do a great job," Kubiak said.

The lawsuit doesn't request a specific amount of money for damages.

"It looks like he may have lost his career and that's obviously worth a significant amount of money that we'll have to determine," Egdorf said.

SMG and Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation declined to comment on the pending suit.

Harris County Agency Executive Director Willie Loston said the grass is "absolutely" safe.

"It's one thing to make an allegation," Loston said.  "It's another to substantiate it.  We intend to defend this vigorously."

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