Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Indiana State Fair Collapse Lawsuit Filed Against Sugarland

Date: November 22, 2011:

Today, Mario Massillamany, of the Indiana law firm Starr Austen & Miller, LLP, announced the filing of a complaint on behalf of 47 victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, which occurred on August 13, 2011.

On August 13, 2011, a large crowd of Sugarland fans gathered at the Indiana State Fair Grounds expecting a great country music concert, and instead tragedy struck. During a severe thunderstorm with very strong winds the overhead stage rigging at the outdoor concert collapsed, killing 7 people and injuring over 40 others. Among those victims were Starr Austen & Miller clients Lisa Hite, and her granddaughter Kyla-Reed Brummet, who were both in the Sugar Pit at the concert. "The injuries I sustained have left me unable to provide for my family," Hite stated. "The financial and emotional strain this has caused has left a lasting impact on my family."

The lawsuit has named Sugarland Music, Inc. and other private entities responsible for the organizing, staging and presentation of the Sugarland concert as defendants. The allegations against the defendants include that they breached their duty of reasonable care to the victims of this collapse. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Sugarland and the other private entities owed a duty to provide a safe concert environment and use reasonable care in the operation, direction, management, set-up, control, and supervision of the concert.

According to the contract reached between Creative Artists Agency (Sugarland's agent) and the Indiana State Fair Committee, Sugarland was guaranteed:
  • $300,500 to perform
  • $30,000 for sound and lights
  • $4,500 for catering
  • 85% gross box office receipts over $470,000
The contract specifies that Sugarland has the final say on whether to cancel a concert due to weather.  "This unimaginable tragedy will forever live in the hearts and minds of the people of Indiana," said plaintiffs' counsel Mario Massillamany. "Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night."

A copy of the complaint can be seen here.  If you have information regarding the litigation, please call 574-722-6676. 

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