Former Texans punter Brett Hartmann. Photo Credit: Dave Einsel, Associated Press
Former Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann is suing Harris County, the county that operates Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. Why? Because he claims the turf is “unsafe”, and is responsible for the injury that may have ended his career.
Hartmann was the Texans’ punter for the first 12 games of the 2011 season before he tore his ACL and broke a bone during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on December 4th of last year. According to USA Today, Reliant Stadium’s turf is composed of 1,200 individual sections of turf, each measuring eight feet by eight feet. Hartmann caught his left foot in a seam between sections, leading to his injury.
Keep in mind, this is the same field on which Wes Welker tore his ACL, leading to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s comments about how “terrible” and “inconsistent” the field is.
After his injury, Hartmann has had several surgeries, was cut by the Texans, and hasn’t been contacted by any NFL teams, and fears his playing career to be over.
However Hartmann, according to the USA Today piece, harbors no ill will towards the Texans, and only “hopes that his actions will help keep his teammates safe for the rest of the season and into the future.” Hartmann is seeking unspecified damages as restitution for the incident.