Mid America Sound denies responsibility in 2011 stage collapse
The owner of the stage that collapsed at the Indiana State Fair now says the State Fair Commission has a duty to protect that company.
Mid America Sound made that claim as it answers for the first time wrongful death lawsuits filed against the company. Seven people died and dozens were injured in the Aug. 13th accident.
In new court papers, Mid America Sound provides invoices totaling more than $20,000 for the rental of its large truss stage, only admitting that it "leased stage equipment to the State Fair Commission..but denies all remaining allegations" including the "failure to conduct adequate inspections of the concert stage systems to ensure it was safe."
Instead, Mid America echoed an earlier Sugarland filing saying:
"Plaintiffs (or victims) may have assumed the risk of any injuries..." citing what it calls "open and obvious conditions" before that severe wind gust toppled the scaffolding August 13, 2011.
The company says it shouldn't have to pay damages, and squarely places that responsibility on the Indiana State Fair Commission.
Mid America claims its equipment was "modified or altered" and "unforeseeably misused."
Under its contract with the Commission, it points out the:
"PURCHASER assumes all risks inherent in the operation and use of the equipment," including loss of life.
Mid America is responding while it awaits a chance to question the lead singers of Sugarland.
The duo's publicist tells Eyewitness News the group has complied with a judge's order to provide alternative dates for questioning.
Attorneys want to know what Jennifer Nettles and Christian Bush knew about the alleged refusal to postpone the show as severe weather headed towards the fairgrounds.
Sugarland did not have to appear in Marion County Court a week ago, and instead had a performance on live national television.