Steelers Unseal Heinz Lawsuit

The Pittsburgh Steelers and a city sports authority have filed a lawsuit against stadium contractors and suppliers, accusing them of installing defective parts throughout Heinz Field.

The NFL team and the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, which leases the stadium to the Steelers, claim five contractors and suppliers installed defective expansion joints throughout the facility. The joints are designed to expand and contract with the climate, preserving the facility’s concrete.

According to the lawsuit, the seals are losing their bond and coming loose from the slabs.

“We feel the stadium is safe for all of our fans,” team spokesman Dave Lockett said, adding that he could not comment on the lawsuit.

The Steelers have leased the $281 million stadium since 2001 after playing decades in Three Rivers Stadium. Workers discovered that rubber covers to prevent water damage designed by Watson Bowman Acme Corp. were defective before Heinz Field opened, according to the complaint.

Contractor Western Waterproofing and Watson Bowman replaced the allegedly defective covers after the 2002 season, but the lawsuit claims the replacements failed the next year when leaks appeared, according to the Tribune-Review newspaper.

Contractor Wyatt Inc. and manufacturers Dow Corning Corp. and Degussa Construction Chemicals (of which Watson Bowman is a subsidiary) are also listed as defendants.

A trial date has not been set, according to reports.