State of Indiana Settles With Victims of Sugarland Stage Collapse
While other lawsuits surrounding the tragedy are still pending, the state has distributed nearly $5 million in compensation for 63 claimants.
The state of Indiana has settled with 63 of 65 claimants following the Aug. 13 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which killed seven Sugarland fans in attendance.
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Of the $5 million in compensation available to victims, all but $2,000 has been claimed according to KRTV in Indianapolis. They will each receive $300,000, with the remaining money to be distributed to 58 other individuals who were injured. The state is still attempting to contact two remaining claimants, who have not yet accepted the monetary offers.
Additionally, fair officials have distributed nearly $800,000 in donations following the incident.
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The suit is one of several stemming from the tragedy, though it is the first to be settled. In a lawsuit filed last month, Sugarland was named along with producers, stage riggers and others associated with the show, for neglecting to call the show off despite dangerous weather conditions.
According plaintiff’s attorney Mario Massillamany, Sugarland’s contract gave the performers final say on whether the show should be canceled due to weather. “Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night," Massillamany said in a statement.
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The band returned to Indiana on Oct. 28 to play a free show at the Conesco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. “Obviously we are here in October – we were supposed to do this show in August. Obviously, the stage is different, you are different and we are different. We are all changed by what happened then,” Jennifer Nettles told the crowd. “But we are going to try to give you the best show that we can and to celebrate healing with you and to celebrate life and music with you here tonight.”