WBEZ | Indiana stage collapse http://www.wbez.org/tags/indiana-stage-collapse Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Indiana settles with most stage collapse victims http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-settles-most-stage-collapse-victims-95062 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-20/AP080602022396.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Nearly all of the 65 people who were injured at last summer’s Indiana State Fair when a stage collapsed has accepted the state’s settlement offer.</p><p>Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said 64 people who were injured will share in the settlements totally $5-million, the maximum allowed under state law.</p><p>One offer was rejected. That was for about $1,800 for a minor who was injured.</p><p>Zoeller said it was difficult to decide how much to give each victim.</p><p>"We did all that was possible to treat victims fairly and to assist them with their medical and financial needs, at least within the amount the law allows,” Zoeller said Monday.</p><p>Seven people died in the Aug. 13 state collapse including two from the Chicago area.</p><p>Christina Santiago, 31, of Chicago, was the manager for the Lesbian Community Care Project at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. Tammy Vandam, a 42-year-old mother from the town of Wanatah in Northwest Indiana, also died.</p><p>The estates of all seven accepted Indiana’s offer of $300,000 each.</p><p>Investigators say high winds toppled the stage before the country group Sugarland was set to perform.</p><p>Zoeller’s office worked with nationally-known expert Kenneth Feinberg, who administered victim compensation programs after 9-11 and the BP Gulf oil spill.</p><p>The Indiana Attorney General’s office also worked with JWF Specialty Company to receive and review 114 claims to obtain additional medical documentation.</p><p>“By accepting offers, claimants sign settlement documents releasing the State of Indiana from future liability but does not prevent claimants from pursuing separate legal actions against other private entities over the stage rigging collapse,” according to Zoeller’s press secretary Bryan Corbin in a news release. “During the process of calculating settlement offers, the Attorney General’s Office participated in mediation with a group of approximately 30 attorneys and law firms representing many claimants and reached tentative accord on the protocol. Settlement offers are with the consent of the Governor’s Office.”</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 17:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-settles-most-stage-collapse-victims-95062 Indiana stage collapse victims sue Sugarland http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-stage-collapse-victims-sue-sugarland-94311 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-23/Sugarland AP Photo Mark J. Terrill.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The estates of four people who died and 44 other victims of the Indiana State Fair stage&nbsp;collapse are suing the country duo Sugarland and 12 other defendants in the most comprehensive lawsuit yet arising from the tragedy.</p><p>The complaint alleging breach of reasonable care to the victims was filed Tuesday in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis by attorneys representing at least 20 law firms across Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.</p><p>Attorney Mario Massillamany of Logansport says Sugarland's contract specified the act had the final say on whether to cancel the Aug. 13 concert due to weather. The stage rigging collapsed into spectators following a wind gust of at least 60 mph, killing seven people and injuring more than 40 others.</p><p>A message seeking comment was left with Sugarland's publicist.</p></p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 12:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-stage-collapse-victims-sue-sugarland-94311 Two more lawsuits filed in Indiana stage collapse seek to challenge state's stance on gay marriage http://www.wbez.org/story/two-more-lawsuits-filed-indiana-stage-collapse-92486 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-27/AP110814018302.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two new separate lawsuits were filed Monday in connection with last August’s deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.</p><p>Both lawsuits were filed by the same lawyer, personal injury attorney Kenneth Allen of Valparaiso, Indiana.</p><p>The first suit, filed in Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis, seeks compensation from the State of Indiana for the wrongful death of 29-year-old Christina Santiago of Chicago. Santiago entered into a civil union with her same-sex partner Alisha Brennon.</p><p>Both attended the Indiana State Fair where the band Sugarland was about to take the stage when a fierce storm with high winds toppled the stage. Brennon survived but is still recovering from her injuries. Santiago did not. Santiago was among seven concert goers who died when the stage collapsed, along with another 60 who were injured.&nbsp;</p><p>Brennon is seeking damages from the State of Indiana which does not recognize same sex unions. In fact, Hoosier lawmakers are seeking an amendment to the Indiana State Construction to outlaw same-sex marriage forever.</p><p>Allen hopes to change Indiana’s stance through the lawsuit.</p><p>“The unequal treatment of gay and lesbian couples in Indiana is critically important,” Allen told WBEZ on Monday.</p><p>Allen also filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Indianapolis. In that one, Allen hopes to nullify Indiana’s $5 million dollar cap on damages.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 05:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/two-more-lawsuits-filed-indiana-stage-collapse-92486 Stage collapse victims fund tops $240,000 http://www.wbez.org/story/stage-collapse-victims-fund-tops-240000-91240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-30/AP110817032177.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A fund set up to raise money for those injured in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse now has more than $240,000.</p><p>Central Indiana Community Foundation spokesman Mike Knight says the State Fair Remembrance Fund contained $242,404 as of Tuesday.</p><p>That total includes $64,753 donated by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who pledged to give $1 per ticket distributed for the team's Aug. 19 preseason game against Washington.</p><p>The tally doesn't include donations expected from a concert given by bands Train and Maroon 5 that was moved from the state fair to Conseco Fieldhouse.</p><p>Seven people have died among dozens injured since Aug. 13 when strong winds blew the outdoor stage rigging onto people awaiting a performance by the country duo Sugarland.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/stage-collapse-victims-fund-tops-240000-91240 Indiana stage collapse lawsuits could challenge state's rules on gay marriage http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-stage-collapse-lawsuits-could-challenge-states-rules-gay-marriage-90889 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/stage19_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The first lawsuits filed over the Indiana State Fair stage collapse could challenge the state's rules on same sex marriage.</p><p>Attorney Kenneth Allen said his clients were recently married in Hawaii, a state that allows same sex civil unions. Beth Urschel was injured in the stage collapse. Her spouse, Tammy VanDam, died from the incident.</p><p>Allen said the lawsuits address a legal gray area in Indiana.</p><p>"Tammy was her wife and Beth is entitled to be treated as any spouse should be treated: fairly, equitably and justly under the law," he said Monday. "That's something we intend to challenge because as it stands now, Indiana law does not recognize her as a spouse and we expect to change that."</p><p>Allen said the court is the best place to address the issue because the state legislature hasn't taken action. Allen is seeking more than $50 million in damages on behalf of Urschel and the estate of VanDam.</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-stage-collapse-lawsuits-could-challenge-states-rules-gay-marriage-90889