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Taking Names: Sugarland sued over stage collapse
Sugarland facing lawsuit over Indiana stage collapse
Country duo Sugarland was named in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by 44 survivors of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse and family members of four people who died, by far the largest claim yet stemming from the tragedy.
Attorneys representing at least 20 law firms across Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky filed the complaint alleging breach of reasonable care to the victims in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Sugarland, producers, stage riggers and others associated with the Aug. 13 show. Stage rigging collapsed into spectators following a wind gust of at least 60 mph, killing seven people and injuring more than 40 others. Sugarland had not yet taken the stage when the collapse occurred.
“Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night,” Mr. Massillamany said.
The contract reached between Sugarland’s agent, Creative Artists Agency, and the Indiana State Fair Committee guaranteed the duo $300,500 to perform, $34,500 for sound, lights and catering, and 85 percent of gross box office receipts exceeding $470,000, Mr. Massillamany said.
“This is a devastating tragedy that has impacted hundreds of people,” plaintiffs’ co-counsel Scott Starr said. “It is critical to help the victims pay the medical bills and other financial expenses that they have incurred from this incident.”
The plaintiffs include Lisa Hite of Cass County, who was with her 8-year-old custodial granddaughter in the area immediately in front of the stage called “the Sugar Pit.”
“The injuries I sustained have left me unable to provide for my family. The financial and emotional strain this has caused has left a lasting impact on my family,” said Ms. Hite, who is represented by Mr. Starr and Mr. Massillamany.
Sugarland’s publicist didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday seeking comment.
Nicki Minaj named Billboard’s rising star
Nicki Minaj will have another moment to savor from her super year: Billboard is honoring her as its rising star of 2011.
She is slated to get the honor at Billboard’s Women of the Year event on Dec. 1 in New York City.
Miss Minaj said Wednesday she was “deeply honored to be recognized by Billboard.” She said she and her fans have come a “mighty long way” but are not close to where “God will take us.”
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