The Indiana State Fair stage collapse that happened just before a performance by Sugarland (and just after one by Sara Bareilles) in August has turned into legal action against the country-pop duo. Forty-four survivors of the disaster and family members of four people who died have named the band in a lawsuit filed yesterday by attorneys representing at least 20 law firms from the states of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Sugarland were originally scheduled to stage a concert on Saturday, August 13 at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. However, after Bareilles’ opening performance, a severe wind gust between 60 and 70 mph blew dirt and rain through the fair, and sent the stage rigging and lighting system down into the crowd. Four people were reportedly killed at the scene of the tragic event.
According to Billboard, the lawsuit, which was filed in Indianapolis’ Marion Superior Court, alleges Sugarland owed a duty to provide a safe concert environment and use reasonable care in the direction, set-up and supervision of the concert, and seeks unspecified damages from the band, producers, stage riggers and others associated with the concert.
Plaintiff’s attorney Mario Massillamany said the following via a statement: “Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night.”
Massillamany also revealed that Sugarland’s contract for their appearance guaranteed the duo $300,500 to perform, $34,500 for sound, lights and catering, and 85 percent of gross box office receipts over $470,000.
Billboard points out that the complaint does not name the fair or the state of Indiana among the defendants, though they were named in at least 40 other claims filed with the attorney general’s office.