Indiana stage builder cited in state fair collapse

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

The report found that the union, not the commission, was the employer of the stagehands who were working Aug. 13 when the stage collapsed. But union attorney Bill Groth called that “absurd” and said the commission controls the fairgrounds and that the union was being made a scapegoat for the mistakes of others.

“Needless to say, Local 30 feels it is being scapegoated by this Administration, whose agents’ own gross negligence in failing to vacate the premises in the face of the imminent storm cannot be explained away,” Groth said in an email to The Associated Press.

Torres said the agency determined the union was the stagehands’ employer because it selected the workers for the job and filed W-2s, workers compensation and other documents, among other factors.

The union was fined $11,500.

Sugarland was not penalized, though the band has been named in some lawsuits over the accident. The agency said the band didn’t employ the workers and wasn’t responsible for building the stage.

Carter said the union had indicated it would contest the findings and state fair officials had requested a meeting with OSHA officials. Mid -America had not responded, he said.

Torres noted that state inspections of temporary structures such as the stage rigging weren’t required at the time of the collapse but that a bill to require such inspections is pending in the state Legislature.

___

Associated Press writer Tom Davies contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks