On December 28, 2008, the Houston Texans and their fans were gearing up for the final game of the season at Reliant Stadium. After starting 3-7, the team had won four of five games and a win against the visiting Chicago Bears would mean 8-8. Not a losing record. Hope was in the air.
Andrew and Mario Hehr, who live in Colorado, were in Houston and decided to check out the game. The Hehrs got their asses kicked.
At least that's what happened according to a new lawsuit filed last week in a Harris County district court.
The Hehrs are suing because the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation -- it manages Reliant -- "encouraged the use of alcohol prior to the game at a tailgate party held in the parking lot" and "failed to provide adequate security for the event."
The lawsuit, however, fails to make a few things clear. The Hehrs claim they were threatened by "unruly fans" and told "guest services" about it numerous occasions. We're not sure why the Hehrs were threatened; maybe they were Bears fans, or maybe they pointed out to Texans fans that an 8-8 record (the Texans won the game) doesn't mean the team is a lock for the Super Bowl next season.
But a "physical altercation" did occur with unknown individuals who were "obviously intoxicated but were allowed to continue to purchase alcohol during the game."
Maybe it looked something like this fight.
In fact, Willie Loston, the executive director of the Sports & Convention Corporation, tells Hair Balls that it's fairly common for the agency to be sued because of a fight. "We get sued a lot out here," he says.
Loston says, to his knowledge, none of the suits have been lost or even settled, adding that that has nothing to do with the Hehrs' claim because "each case stands on its own merits."
The Hehrs are asking for medical expenses incurred after the fight and any expenses in the future to be covered. They also want compensation for physical pain and suffering in the past and future.
We contacted the Hehrs' attorney, Dean Gregory, for some more details about what happened, but we haven't heard back. As soon as we do, we'll be sure to update.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.