Sugarland Stage Collapse Back in the Spotlight

Collapse of a Concert Stage

Four months after the tragic collapse of a concert stage at the Indianapolis State Fair, victims and their families are now naming the band, Sugarland, among others, in a class-action lawsuit. The falling stage killed seven concertgoers and injured countless others on August 13, 2011 in an event that absorbed media attention for weeks after the tragedy.

That night, seven people were killed and dozens more were injured, with no hint of danger to warn them. After a 60 mph wind gust, the stage rigging suddenly collapsed, falling onto spectators. ABC2 News reported on the heartbreaking story of a mother and her 10-year-old daughter who were trapped underneath the stage as it fell; the mother suffered from third-degree burns and broken bones including her ribs, pelvis and vertebra, while her little girl suffered a traumatic brain injury. The child is still recovering and must participate in extensive therapies to strengthen herself physically and mentally. They have not yet filed a lawsuit but are considering doing so.

Victims Can File Suit

As of November, USA Today reports that the victims of the collapse were granted the right to form a class-action lawsuit and challenge Indiana’s liability cap of $5 million. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker made the decision based on several filings from the estates of three out of the seven fatally wounded victims. The victims’ families and other people injured in the collapse may join the lawsuit.

The 44 survivors of the stage and rigging collapse and the families of four deceased victims have named the country duo Sugarland in their class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit spans at least 20 law firms in multiple states including Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio and alleges that insufficient care was available to victims following the tragedy. Although the lawsuit names the band, it only specifies monetary damages sought against the stage riggers and producers associated with setting up and carrying on the show.

Victims are Helpless

Although Sugarland received $300,500 for their concert, $34,500 to put towards catering, lights and sound, as well as 85 percent of box office sales totaling more than $470,000, victims and their families do not have such large resources to pay for the mounting medical bills and other financial expenses. Sugarland and the stage crew were responsible for putting on a safe show and using common sense and discretion when setting up, directing and supervising the concert.

Surviving victims agree that they simply do not have the means to pay for these costs and, because of the incident, are unable to provide for their families. The emotional and financial strain has hurt the victims and their loved ones. A State Fair Remembrance Fund has gathered $564,000 to help 28 people and $400,000 more will be administered on a prorated basis to those who have already received money. Others, however, have received no help with their expenses.

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If you or someone you love were injured because of the carelessness of another person or entity, contact our attorneys. We will answer any questions you may have about a lawsuit and work with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The time to act is limited, so contact us today.

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