Class-Action Stage Collapse Suit Names Sugarland

Nov 23, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Members of the country music duo Sugarland were named defendants in a class-action suit related a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.

A class-action lawsuit related to a deadly stage collapse that occurred at the Indiana State Fair was filed recently and named the country music duo Sugarland as defendants.

The lawsuit was brought by 44 injured survivors of the event and family members of four people who were killed. The disaster unfolded during stormy, windy conditions prior to a Sugarland concert on August 13, when an outdoor stage collapsed onto the assembled audience.

By banding together for a class-action suit, the plaintiffs will be able to pay independent investigators to look into the event, one of the involved attorneys, Mario Massillamany, told Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN.

Sugarland's contract with the Indiana State Fair gave the duo ultimate discretion to call off the concert due to weather, which, according the suit, placed a burden on them to guarantee the safety of the crowd, The Associated Press reported.

In addition to Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush of Sugarland, the lawsuit names producers, riggers and other people involved in the set up of the stage as defendants. The suit contends that the crew failed to uphold its responsibility to ensure the safety of concert-goers. Massillamany told WXIN there are some indications that the stage may have been set up improperly.

In September, a Chicago woman whose domestic partner died in the collapse filed a lawsuit seeking spousal death benefits from the state of Indiana. Because Indiana does not extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples, the case could test civil union laws.