Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/15/12
Brett Hartmann, a former punter with the Houston Texans, is suing the owners of Houston's Reliant Stadium for negligence regarding an injury he suffered to his non-kicking leg late last season, his lawyer announced Thursday. Hartmann alleges he suffered a career-threatening knee injury last December when his foot was caught in a seam between grass pods, attorney Greg Egdorf said. In March, Hartmann was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Reliant's field is built with 1,200 interlocking eight-foot square pods of grass. Most NFL stadiums are built on a single sheet of grass.Hartmann, a rookie punter last season, claims he suffered a torn ACL and a fractured lower leg on the play in question. He was cut by the team in August. Egdorf said the defendants are Pennsylvania-based SMG, which provides the stadium grass, and the Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation, which owns and operates the facility. Neither has responded to the suit, according to the Houston Press. Egdorf claimed that several other NFL players have suffered injuries because of Reliant's grass pods. Among those he mentioned were New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. Hartmann is seeking unspecified monetary damages, Edgdorf said. He claims TV coverage of the game clearly shows Hartmann's injury was caused by the seam. He was credited for serving one game of his suspension during the Texans' playoff run, which he missed after tearing his ACL and being placed on injured reserve. He will have to sit out the first three games if another team signs him. Hartmann finished his rookie season with a 44.4-yard average and a 37.8 net. He was an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan who the Texans released in their cut to 80 players during training camp, then re-signed after Brad Maynard struggled in the final preseason game.
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