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Sugarland, Live Nation settle with victims of stage collapse

Pennsylvania music fans may be interested to know that country music duo Sugarland and concert promoter Live Nation as well as 16 other defendants have reached a $39 million settlement with victims of a fatal stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which occurred in 2011. The agreement, announced on Dec. 19, is the second settlement stemming from the accident. The state of Indiana previously agreed to pay victims $11 million.

Seven concertgoers were killed and almost 100 were injured when rigging collapsed during powerful winds and sent the stage roof plummeting onto fans waiting to see a Sugarland performance. Subsequent investigations said the rigging did not meet industry safety standards, and fair officials did not have an adequate disaster plan in place. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the State Fair Commission, the company that built the stage and the union that worked on the site for safety violations. In response to the accident, new industry standards for outdoor rigging have been enacted.

Not all plaintiffs accepted Indiana's settlement offer, but the latest agreement gives compensation to all the victims. Due to a confidentiality agreement, the exact amount each defendant will pay is not known. A case against the last defendant, ESG Security, is still pending. It is expected to go to trial in 2015.

Establishing premises liability after an accident at a large event like a music concert can be complex. With the aid of an attorney, victims who were injured in a similar situation could file a civil lawsuit to recover medical expenses and other costs. Likewise, those who have lost a loved one in such an accident could file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain compensation.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Live Nation, Sugarland settle suit in deadly Indiana stage collapse", Javier Panzar, December 19, 2014

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