Houston WR sues Marshall, league over 2008 injury

Houston wide receiver Patrick Edwards, who broke his leg when he

ran into a metal service cart in an October 2008 game at Marshall,

accused the school in a lawsuit of maintaining an unsafe playing

field.

Edwards was running full speed for a long pass when his right

shin crashed into the cart just beyond the end zone. Edwards

suffered a compound fracture and a rod was inserted in his lower

right leg during surgery the next day in Huntington.

The lawsuit was first reported by KRIV-TV in Houston.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court seeks

unspecified damages and a jury trial. Also named as defendants were

Conference USA and game referee Gil Gelbke, whom the lawsuit said

was in charge of inspection and notification.

Marshall had a duty to maintain its football field in a

reasonably safe manner, including the removal of obstructions, the

lawsuit said. It cites NCAA football rules requiring the officials

to remove any markers and obstructions from the playing surface

that might be hazards to players.

”We are aware of the lawsuit and have advised our attorneys,”

Conference USA said in a statement. ”It was an unfortunate

accident and we are glad that Patrick has recovered so well from

it. We will have no further comment regarding ongoing

litigation.”

Gerald Austin, the league’s director of football officials,

declined comment.

Marshall spokesman Matt Turner declined to comment on pending

litigation, but said the university had not received a copy of the

suit.

The Conference USA game was televised nationally and the

accident was shown thousands of times on the Internet – even

Edwards said he saw the replay of the gruesome injury.

Marshall officials apologized afterward and several Thundering

Herd players and then-coach Mark Snyder visited Edwards in the

hospital.

Edwards, who said at the time he held no animosity toward

Marshall, missed the remainder of the 2008 season but returned to

catch 85 passes for 1,021 yards and six touchdowns as a junior in

2009.