51 Claimants Accept Stage Collapse Settlement
The stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds the day after the August 13 collapse.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A majority of the claimants in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse will participate in a settlement.
Seven people died and dozens more were injured when strong winds toppled stage rigging at the state fairgrounds grandstand just prior to a Sugarland concert on August 13, 2011.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office said that 51 of the 62 eligible claimants have accepted the $13.2 public-private settlement package. Wednesday was the deadline for claimants to sign and return settlement application paperwork.
“This is an expedited and reasonable settlement that puts victims first and will provide for the immediate medical and financial needs now, rather than after waging lengthy and uncertain litigation. The vast majority of claimants, after reviewing the settlement and weighing their options carefully, are willing to accept,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.
The State of Indiana is offering $6 million in public funds to the claimants. The other $7.2 million in private funds will come from Mid-America South Corporation and James Thomas Engineering, Inc. – the two companies responsible for the stage rigging that have been named as defendants in civil lawsuits.
Applications submitted by the claimants included medical bills and other paperwork. The applications will be reviewed through August 15
Those accepting the settlement agree to release the State of Indiana and the two companies from liability. Claimants that decline the settlement can pursue litigation against Mid-America Sound Corporation and James Thomas Engineering.
“We respect the right of the few claimants who may decide to turn down the settlement, but it is important to move forward so that the vast majority get immediate relief,” Zoeller said.