State rep calls for hearings on raising liability cap


INDIANAPOLIS - A state representative wants the legislature to hold hearings to consider raising the liability cap for victims of the State Fair tragedy.

Seven people were killed and dozens hurt when stage rigging collapsed before the Sugarland concert at the fairgrounds on August 13.

Representative Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) asked Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) in August to begin hearings on the $5 million liability cap. Tuesday, Delaney said Bosma wants to wait until all private settlements are made before calling for a review. Delaney says that means a decision could not be made until after the 2012 legislative session.

"There was a late call made here at the fairgrounds on the night in question. We were late in telling people to go. We were responsible. The state has already agreed to pay $5 million, which is too little. I don't want the legislature to make a second late call and (not) kick this off until 2013. I want the victims and their families to know that there will be adequate money," Delaney said. "That's all I'm asking, for the legislature to sit down and decide what is a reasonable total, not just for this event, but overall. Pass a bill that says what the grand total is and then the system will work."

A northern Indiana lawyer filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to overturn the cap, to give what he calls "full and fair damages" to the victims and their families.