With about a month left before the deadline for applications, the Indiana State Fair Commission has received only 19 claims for money from the Relief Fund.
The Relief Fund was set up through donations from individuals and businesses to be distributed to victims of the stage collapse. The Commission began accepting claims last month, but only 19 claims have been filed, compared to 54 tort claims filed against the state.
Commission chair Andre Lacy says he is surprised more people have not come forward. He says he has noticed most of the claims have been made by the victims themselves and not lawyers working on behalf of victims. He says he thinks lawyers are quick to file tort claims because they receive a portion of the money. With the relief fund, though they do not get anything.
“So I petition, frankly, the lawyers to be a little more gracious for their clients and encourage their clients to take advantage of the relief fund,” he says.
Seventeen of the 19 claims have been processed. About a third of the money that’s available has been distributed. The deadline to submit a claim for the relief fund is November 14.