Sugarland Points Finger In Stage Collapse Suit
|The stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds the day after the August 13 collapse. file photo|
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Sugarland is blaming some fans in the aftermath of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse last August that killed seven people and injured dozens more.
The country music group released its reaction to a civil lawsuit and the testimony of State Fair officials who say singer Jennifer Nettles was partly to blame for not postponing the August 13 show before 70 MPH winds blew down the stage.
The band is now demanding a jury trial.
In its response to the lawsuit, Sugarland claims the stage collapse was the result of a “gust of wind of unprecedented intensity” and as such was “a true accident, or act of God,” the Indianapolis Star reported.
The group’s response also stated some of those who were hurt or killed “failed to exercise due care for their own safety.”
The lawsuit was filed in Marion Circuit Court last November by several victims of the stage collapse. The plaintiffs claim the show should have been cancelled and the crowd evacuated as severe weather moved in.
Last month, the Indiana Department of Labor released the first report regarding the deadly accident. It fined stage owner Mid-America Sound $63,000 for three major safety violations. Two other organizations – the Indiana State Fair and Local 30 representing the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees – were fined $6,300 and $11,500, respectively.