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Sugarland Deny Being at Fault for Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Sugarland have long been embroiled in a lawsuit surrounding the August 13, 2011 stage collapse at their show at the Indiana State Fair. Now, responding to lawsuits coming at them, they’re claiming one last time that the incident, which left seven dead and more than 40 injured, was not their fault.

As Taste of Country previously reported, the stage collapsed after Sara Bareilles’ performance and just before Sugarland was about to take the stage. Since then, Indiana State Fair Commission executive director Cindy Hoye claimed in an affidavit that she sent the show’s promoter twice to the band and was told twice that they wanted to carry on with the show, making them responsible for negligence in the situation.

In response to the negligence claims, the duo are asserting that the fatal accident was just that – “a true accident, or an act of God,” according to CNN. In a court document, the band responded by saying that they “had nothing to do with the construction of the venue” and that the scaffolding collapse was due to a “gust of wind of unprecedented intensity.”

Responding to the civil lawsuit filed by several victims Nov. 22, the band maintained that they had nothing to do with the construction of the venue itself and that the claims were the result of “an open and obvious danger,” and that some of the plaintiff’s injuries “resulted from their own fault.” When all fingers started pointing at them, Sugarland began pointing at others, suggesting that they shouldn’t be the only ones held accountable for the horrific event. They say others played a part as well, including Indiana State Fair officials, Indiana State Police, member of the labor union who constructed the stage and the entire state of Indiana.

Their claim does seem to be backed by some empirical evidence, as a Feb. 8 report by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that the stage scaffolding was not constructed properly nor properly inspected after it was erected on the site. With all the finger pointing, Sugarland and their fans are left to wait and see where the lines fall in the end.

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