$39 Million Settlement in Sugarland Stage Accident

Lawsuit Against Duo, Live Nation Dismissed

A $39 million out-of-court settlement has been reached in connection with the stage collapse that killed seven people at Sugarland’s 2011 concert at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, The Associated Press reports.

The lawsuits against Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants were dismissed Friday (Dec. 19), according to attorney Kenneth J. Allen, who represents the victims and their families.

In addition to the deaths, nearly 100 others were injured on Aug. 13, 2011, when stage rigging and a roof fell when high winds hit the fair’s midway shortly before Sugarland’s scheduled outdoor performance.

Investigators said the stage rigging failed to meet industry safety standards and that fair officials lacked an adequate emergency plan. The accident led to new regulations on the techniques used for stage rigging at outdoor events.

In court depositions, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush reportedly said they were unaware of the severity of the weather that night and rely on their tour manager to make decisions about possible performance cancellations in such situations.

Friday’s settlement is in addition to an earlier $11 million settlement with the state. One defendant — a security company — is not part of the settlement with the state, and that case could go to trial next year.

The money in the settlements will be distributed based on the severity of injury and whether a death was involved. Because of a confidentiality, Allen said he could not provide specifics about how the money will be distributed.