Soon after the deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair last month that killed seven people, the state announced a $5 million settlement for victims of the tragedy. However, questions are already being raised about the feasibility of a cap like this in a tragedy that has claimed so many lives and left so much devastation in its wake.
Seven people died when stage rigging at the Indiana State Fair collapsed just before a concert was due to begin. More than forty people at the concert were seriously injured. Some of them suffered critical injuries.
The state responded by announcing a $5 million settlement to be divided among the survivors of those who were killed in the tragedy, as well as those who were injured. The settlement was set at $5 million because that is the maximum the state can commit to under Indiana’s liability cap. Several states have caps on state liability, while states like Ohio and California have no cap at all.
Now, Indiana State Rep. Ed Delaney, Democrat-Indianapolis intends to introduce a bill that would allow the Indiana State Fair accident victims to collect more than the cap allows them to. According to Representative Delaney, the victims, who were injured or killed in this case, were invited to the venue by the state. It was, therefore, the state’s responsibility to keep the concertgoers safe, but officials failed to monitor the structural integrity of the rigging or the safety of the stage.
On the day of the concert, a storm was brewing, and it was very evident for a while that the weather would only get worse. The rigging was being buffeted around by the strong winds. In fact, officials were trying to determine whether to postpone the concert at the time the rigging collapsed. Their delay in making a decision may have proved costly for dozens of concertgoers.
Dividing $5 million among more than forty-five plaintiffs, some of who have lost sole breadwinners, is insensitive at the very least. Some of the injured victims have already racked up more than $100,000 dollars in hospital expenses alone. There could be further expenses in rehabilitation, and additional surgeries down the road.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy represent persons who have been injured due to the negligence of others.