Over a period of three years the state of Indiana has had to pay $11M and then $39M respectively as settlement to families of victims of stage collapse during the Sugarland Concert at the State Fair in Indianapolis.

Accident attorneys make state pay for the Aug. 13th, 2011 disaster at the state fair
On Dec 22nd, 2014, the accident attorneys for the plaintiffs, the victims versus 20 defendants, finally reached an agreement with 19 of the defendants agreeing to settle for a sum of $39M. The law firm handling the case said that this was in addition to $11M payout by the State of Indiana to the victims of the fatal accident. Accident attorneys for the victims said that the claims were from the families of seven deaths and more than 58 severely injured on that fateful day.
According to the Engineering Report released in 2012, the accident occurred due to negligent construction. The report indicated that inadequate structural support caused the scaffolding to collapse during the Sugarland Concert. In short, bad rigging by Fair Staff caused the accident thereby making the State as organizers of the fair responsible who were subsequently sued by the victims. The settlement of $39M was agreed upon by 19 of the 20 defendants with Indianapolis based ESG Security Inc., holding out for trial, which is expected to go to court in 2015.
How the payout would be divided between the victims
As per Chicago Fox 32 News, the horrible stage crash has brought forth historic settlements for the families of the victims. The news channel gives a human turn to the story by relating the plight of some of the individual victim’s plight. The disaster caused the death of a well-known woman Chicago activist. Her lesbian partner Alisha Brennon was grief stricken as she related the terrible effects of her brain injury to Fox 32 and how she was learning to deal with it and the loss of her partner Christiana Santiago.
This class action lawsuit has been considered as a precedent by Rensselaer Indiana accident attorneys and others attorneys following the case. In Indiana individuals cannot claim settlement through judgment unless the person is next of kin or in some way legally related to the victim. In this case the survivor of the Chicago couple, Alisha, whose relationship with Santiago was not legally bonded, would not be able to collect survivor benefits on behalf of her partner. This relationship was established by the attorneys and Alisha was able to claim benefits, making this judgment a precedent and the first one of its kind in the country.
Victory after a tough battle
While it is not known what will be Brennon’s share of the $50 million, the attorneys are happy that the judicial system has given recognition to this problem after a bitter battle between the seven victims and 58 injured who, sued Indiana and a total of 20 others in two stages as part of a Class Action lawsuit
As per Rensselaer Indiana accident attorneys keeping a close watch on the case, the recognition given to Alisha Brennon may make her the recipient of only a part of the total $50M, but the money received would be incomparable to the equity or justice received by her in the settlement.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.