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Indiana to Pay Out $5 Million to Sugarland Stage Collapse Victims

Indiana State Fair
Joey Foley, Getty Images

The nearly 50 people injured or killed when the stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed on top of them will have to split a $5 million dollar payment from the state of Indiana. Indiana state law dictates the government’s liability is limited to $700,000 per injury or $5 million per single incident.

The International Business Times also reports that an additional $800,000 has been raised from private donors in the weeks since the tragedy occurred, moments before Sugarland was to walk onstage. It’s not clear how or when the money will be distributed. One widow’s attorney underscored the importance of getting the money moving quickly.

“How is the light bill going to be paid?” Carl Brizzi asked on behalf of Heather Goodrich, whose husband Glenn was killed in the accident. “How is she going to buy groceries for her boys?” A spokesman for Zoeller said that the payment is not an admission of negligence by the state.

“This is a way to get early payments to the victims,” Byran Corbin said. “Once the $5 million limit is reached, that is all there is.”

In addition to the seven people who died on August 13, over 40 were injured — some severely — when wind toppled the light and sound rigging that held the stage upright. An investigation to determine the cause and if the incident was preventable is still ongoing.

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