Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse Victims Agree to Split $13.2M Settlement
Nearly one year after tragedy struck at the Indiana State Fair -- when the stage collapsed before Sugarland was expected to take the stage, killing seven and injuring dozens -- victims of the accident might have agreed on a settlement. According to a statement from the Indiana Attorney General's office on Thursday, 51 of the 62 eligible claimants have accepted the offer to split $13.2 million.
The $13.2 million settlement comes from the state and two private companies. If the claimants are to accept the money, they would have to agree to release Mid-America Sound and James Thomas Engineering from any liability in the August 13, 2011 accident.
The victims have until August 15, 2012 to sign off on the agreement. Those who choose not to accept the settlement have the option of pursuing a lawsuit against both the sound company and engineering company, but there is no guarantee of payment at the end of the lawsuit.
All involved can still pursue action against parties not involved in the settlement, which means a trial could still be held to determine if perhaps Sugarland is responsible for the injuries and damages that were incurred when the stage fell.
Some victims and families of those who were killed by the tragedy are suing the duo for damages, claiming that they were responsible for the structure. The country music pair was scheduled to perform when high winds from an approaching storm blew the elaborate stage setup onto the crowd. The lawsuit could potentially decide that Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles are liable for the accident, forcing them to pay millions in damages.