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Few Claims Have Been Filed With State Fair Relief Fund

Only 19 claims have been filed with the State Fair Relief Fund, compared to 54 tort claims filed against the state.

State Fair Vigil

Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

Family members stand next to the table that encouraged people to donate to the State Fair Relief Fund at the vigil held a few days after the stage collapse in August.

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.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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