Saskatchewan

Cover-All in bankruptcy protection

The parent company of the Saskatoon-based business that built a Dallas Cowboys' practice facility that collapsed in a storm last May has filed for protection from its creditors.

The parent company of the Saskatoon-based business that built a Dallas Cowboys practice facility that collapsed last May has filed for protection from its creditors.

Hundreds of employees at Cover-All Building Systems Inc. of Saskatoon hauled their belongings away in boxes Friday, a day after being given layoff notices. An estimated 400 of the 485 workers were laid off by the company, which makes buildings with steel frames and fabric covers.

Cover-All has struggled because of declining demand for its product and lawsuits over the collapse of the Cowboys' training facility in Irving, Texas, during a thunderstorm last May 2.

Twelve people were hurt when the massive tent-like building — polyethylene fabric over interlocking steel pipes — collapsed.

On Friday, in a statement announcing the restructuring, Cover-All said it would maintain "limited operations that relate principally to engineering and safety, as well as restructuring itself."

The company's head office is in Calgary and the creditor protection was granted in Alberta. Company officials were not available for interviews.

Fedir Zarichnyi, a welder originally from Ukraine, told CBC News the job cuts came as no surprise.

"Because ... we work, two or three days every week," he said. "This week we work just one day, yesterday."

The Cowboys' facility is one of three Cover-All structures to collapse in recent years. Joe DeCamillas, the Cowboys' special teams coach, broke his neck in the collapse but has been recovering. Scouting aide Rich Behm's spine snapped and he is now paralyzed below the waist.

Both are suing Cover-All and its Pennsylvania-based sales arm, Summit Systems, for an unspecified amount in court in Dallas.

With files from The Canadian Press