On August 15, 40-year-old John Burnette of Boyd climbed his way up to a three-sided, illuminated billboard he was supposed to service. The billboard, on a lot off of Division Street, is part of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium complex -- No. 14, one of the Cowboys Silver Lots. Burnette opened a trap door to the lower catwalk some 15 feet off the ground. He climbed 60 feet higher and passed through another trap door to the upper catwalk.
But, according to a complaint filed Dallas County District Court, as he attempted to secure his safety harness to a railing, the trap door gave way, and Burnette plummeted some 65 feet to his death.
His widow, a Denton County woman named Angie Freese, and his mother, who lives in Georgia, are suing, in no particular order: Reynolds Sign, Burnette's Irving employer; Commercial Metals Company, which supplied the materials used in the sign's construction; trapdoor and catwalk designer McFarland Engineering, and the Dallas Cowboys Football Club, for whom the complaint claims the sign was built. They're asking for unspecified damages for negligence
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Reached this morning, a representative for the Cowboys said she had no information on the lawsuit.