Sugarland Lawyer Says Fans Share Blame for Fair Stage Collapse
Lawyers for country duo Sugarland have said that concertgoers were at least in part to blame for the injuries sustained when a stage collapsed during a Sugarland concert in Indiana last year.
The collapse, which occurred last summer at the Indiana State Fair, killed seven people and injured many others.
In a civil lawsuit, attorneys for the group have said that fans “failed to exercise due care for their own safety.” The lawsuit also alleges that “some or all of the plaintiffs’ claimed injuries resulted from their own fault.”
The statement has already caused incited outrage among many of the injured, and Sugarland’s manager, Gail Gellman, issued a statement to the Associated Press regarding the incident.
“Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster,” the manager said in the statement. “The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched. For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them.”
Two days after the stage rigging and sound equipment fell onto the crowd during high winds, Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles also issued a statement to the AP that expressed how moved the band was by their fans.
In the statement, she said she was “moved by the grief of those families who lost loved ones. Moved by the pain of those who were injured and the fear of their families. Moved by the great heroism as I watched so many brave Indianapolis fans actually run toward the stage and try to help lift and rescue those injured. Moved by the quickness and organization of the emergency workers who set up the triage and tended to the injured.”
The state of Indiana, however, is saying that the band may be at least in part to blame, as well, since they allegedly refused to delay the beginning of the concert because it would have complicated further tour plans. The state already has paid out $5 million to victims and their families. That amount is the highest currently allowed under Indiana law.