Thursday 24 November 2011, 11:36 | By CMU Editorial
Sugarland sued over Indiana State Fair stage collapse
Country duo Sugarland have been named as defendants in a lawsuit in the US relating to the stage collapse tragedy that occurred at the Indiana State Fair back in August. As previously reported, freak 60mph gusts of wind blew over the State Fair’s site just before the country act were due to perform in the event’s main arena, bringing stage rigging crashing to the ground on top of waiting audience members. In total, seven people died and over 40 were injured.
It’s not the first legal claim in relation to the incident, chilling footage of which appeared on YouTube. According to USA Today, over 90 people made claims against the State of Indiana, whose liability under State law is limited to $5 million in total. A handful of other legal claims have been against various other parties linked to the fair and the Sugarland performance, though the new lawsuit represents 48 parties and specifically targets the band and others associated with their show.
The lawsuit notes that Sugarland’s contract with the State Fair’s organisers, negotiated by the Creative Artists Agency, specifically gave them the power to cancel their performance if there were weather concerns, and therefore the band and their associates are being held liable for failing to do so. One of the attorneys involved in the litigation, Mario Massillamany, told reporters: “Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night”.
At the time of the incident it was reported that Sugarland’s tour manager had requested a delay to the start of the band’s set to assess the impact of the then incoming storm, and that decision may have saved lives, as the ramifications may have been even worse had the band been performing at the time of the stage collapse. Sugarland’s reps are yet to respond to the new lawsuit.