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Most State Fair Victims Take Settlement Deal

At least 51 of the 62 state fair stage collapse victims have agreed not to sue the staging companies in exchange for additional settlement fees.

stage collapse

Photo: Rich Evers (Flickr)

A state fair attendee's photo shows the collapsed stage at the Indiana State Fair Saturday.

At least 51 State Fair stage collapse victims have accepted settlement offers from the state and two private companies.

During the legislative session, the General Assembly appropriated $6 million in relief, in addition to the $5 million the state gave to 62 state fair victims under its tort claims cap in December.

Then in June, Attorney General Greg Zoeller tied the additional money to settlement offers from two private companies involved in the incident: Mid-America Sound Corporation, which built the stage, and James Thomas Engineering. The total settlement amount was set at $13.2 million dollars.

To receive a share of the General Assembly’s $6 million, victims had to accept the private settlement as well – which includes a requirement not to move forward with any lawsuits against Mid-America and James Thomas.

In a statement, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the settlements provide immediate relief to the victims and their families, rather than having to wait out what is likely to be a lengthy judicial process. Mid-America and James Thomas now have two weeks to officially accept the settlement agreements. And the attorney general’s office says any settlement agreements from victims postmarked by Wednesday night will be accepted.

That could still leave as many as 11 people with no chance at any of the $6 million the General Assembly specifically gave to State Fair victims. Those people can still proceed with lawsuits against the two private companies.

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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