First lawsuits filed in fair stage collapse


VALPARAISO - The first lawsuits from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair were filed Friday in northern Indiana.

Injury attorneys Kenneth J. Allen & Associates filed suit on behalf of the family of Tammy VanDam, 42, of Wanatah, and Beth Urschel, 49, also of Wanatah. VanDam, the mother of a 17-year-old daughter, was killed in the accident, while Urschel was severely injured and underwent an amputation.

"This was a terrible tragedy that could and should have been prevented; the responsible parties must be held to account," Allen said in a release. "However, since much of the critical evidence of fault is in the possession or control of the wrongdoers at this point, we were forced to file suit today to protect and preserve all the evidence."

A circuit court judge was expected to issue an injunction Friday to prevent evidence from being destroyed or tampered with.

"Our job is to fight for them. We could not stand idly by while others attempt to alter or destroy evidence," Allen said.

Six people died when the scaffolding above the concert stage at the Sugarland concert at the state fairgrounds collapsed last Saturday.

State Fair tragedy stories and video