Photo: Rich Evers (Flickr)
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.