The Indiana Attorney General's Office said Thursday most victims of a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair have agreed to accept shares of a $13.2 million settlement offer from the state and two private companies.
The office said so far 51 of the 62 eligible claimants have accepted the settlement offer. Paperwork from additional claimants that was postmarked by Wednesday's midnight deadline also will be accepted.
This is an expedited and reasonable settlement that puts victims first and will provide for the immediate medical and financial needs now, rather than after waging lengthy and uncertain litigation. The vast majority of claimants, after reviewing the settlement and weighing their options carefully, are willing to accept, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a news release.
To accept the combined settlement, claimants agreed to release Mid-America Sound and James Thomas Engineering from additional liability in the Aug. 13, 2012, collapse before country duo Sugarland was to perform, killing seven and injuring dozens. The companies put up a combined $7.2 million with the state's $6 million.
The companies have until Aug. 15 to sign off on the settlement.
Claimants who applied for the settlement can still pursue litigation against other parties not involved in the offer.
Claimants who turned down the settlement can pursue litigation against the two participating companies, but it could take years and there is no guarantee of payment at the end of a lawsuit.
We respect the right of the few claimants who may decide to turn down the settlement, but it is important to move forward so that the vast majority get immediate relief, Zoeller said.
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