Sugarland Denies Responsibility for Deadly Stage Collapse

Indiana State Fair stage collapse on Aug. 13, 2011

(NewsCore) – Sugarland has responded to a lawsuit that claims the country duo was partly responsible for a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair last year, arguing that the high winds that caused the catastrophe were an “Act of God.”

The massive lawsuit was filed in November by victims of the summer stage collapse that killed seven people and injured dozens more at an outdoor concert. A number of defendants were named, including concert promoter Live Nation and Sugarland, the country duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush.

The Aug. 13 incident occurred when a gust of wind blew over part of the stage and sent it crashing into the crowd.

The lawsuit claimed that Sugarland was responsible for overseeing the construction and design of the stage and then was negligent in deciding to go ahead with the show despite high winds in the forecast.

Sugarland’s response argued that the band was not involved with constructing the stage and that it was not built solely for the concert.

The band also denied that it was responsible for deciding whether or not to cancel the concert due to weather conditions.

“The incident at issue in this litigation resulted from a gust of wind of unprecedented intensity, which caused a structure that may have been improperly designed, maintained and\or inspected to fail. As such, this was a true accident or Act of God,” the response reads.

“The Plaintiff’s claims and injuries were caused by an open and obvious danger,” it adds. “The Sugarland Defendants have no duty toward the Plaintiff, including any duty to warn with respect to such an obvious danger.”

The response also argues that “some or all of the Plaintiffs’ claimed injuries resulted from their own fault,” and that some “failed to exercise due care for their own safety” or “knowingly and voluntary assumed and/or incurred the risk of injury to themselves.”

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, also named as defendants the companies responsible for setting up the stage, sound and lighting and the local stagehands’ union. The plaintiffs include the estates of four of the seven people who were killed in the collapse.

The story was originally reported on

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