Punter suing stadium officials
Former Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann is suing Reliant Stadium officials, claiming last year's season-ending knee injury was caused by the turf.
"It wasn't like I get hit or was trying to make a tack or anything," Hartmann told reporters during a Thursday news conference. "I was just running down field, it was something that could have been prevented."
Hartmann was injured during a game against the Atlanta Falcons. He has just kicked the ball, and was running toward the action on the return.
Brett Hartmann (above).
"I went to the ground and pretty much blacked out," he said. "I just knew something bad had happened because my knee popped and snapped."
Hartmann's attorney Eugene Egdorf says numerous players and coaches over the years have complained about the turf because it is seamed together for quick tear down and installation.
"In 2009, Wes Welker from the New England Patriots tore his knee up at Reliant Stadium," Egdorf said. "And Super Bowl winning coach Bill Belichick afterward said it was the worst stadium in the NFL."
Hartmann's lawsuit against SMG and the Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation seek damages for his pain and suffering, his medical and court costs, and his loss of future earnings.
Sports Talk 790's Greg Koch is a former player turned attorney. He says because the Reliant turf is installed in separate trays, Hartmann may have a case.
"I can see where that could cause indentions and seams, and could possibly be a dangerous situation for players," says Koch.
But co-host and former Texan N.D. Kalu disagrees.
"Never once did I think 'Oh this field is dangerous,'" he says. "Was it the best field? Absolutely not. Was it the worse? Far from it."