Sugarland Responds To State Fair Collapse Lawsuit

Country Duo Denies Responsibility

Sugarland is responding to claims of negligence in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 51 people connected to the Indiana State Fair collapse.

The suit, filed in November, accuses the country duo, concert promoters and those who built the group's stage of allowing the stage to be overloaded beyond reasonable engineering tolerances, failing to properly monitor the weather and failing to evacuate the area in a timely and appropriate manner.

Special Section: Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse

The plaintiffs include the families of four of the seven people killed when the rigging above the main stage collapsed the night of the Aug. 13 concert.

In its response, Sugarland denies it had anything to do with the construction of the venue or any of the public address components mounted on the structure, stressing that the stage was not constructed solely for the band's concert.

"The incident at issue in this litigation resulted from a gust of wind of unprecedented intensity, which caused a structure that may have been improperly designed, maintained and\or inspected to fail. As such, this was a true accident or Act of God," the response states.

The band also denies the claims that it was Sugarland's responsibility to cancel the concert in the case of inclement weather.

But attorney Mario Massillamany, who is representing some of the victims who brought the suit, cited details of a deposition released earlier this month that put the burden on Sugarland.

"Cindy Hoyt, who's with the Indiana State Fair, in her deposition stated that at least twice Sugarland was asked if they would cancel the concert, and they didn't," he said. "Why? Because they were more concerned about getting to their next show, so instead of protecting their fans, they were more concerned with getting to their next show to collect their paycheck."

The response also alleges that "some or all of the plaintiffs failed to exercise due care for their own safety" and that "some or all of the plaintiffs knowingly and voluntarily assumed and\or incurred the risk of injury to themselves."

Seven people were killed and more than 40 others were injured when the stage rigging collapsed. A state-sponsored investigation is ongoing.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

More Information: Sugarland Lawsuit Response

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