Mid America Sound Corp. to pay $50,000 in penalties over stage collapse


A new settlement has been reached related to the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Indiana's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) announced the settlement with Mid-America Sound, the company that built the stage rigging. The biggest part of that agreement was increased training for Hoosier workers who install those types of outdoor stages.

Two stagehands were among the seven people who died when stage rigging collapsed at the State Fairgrounds in 2011. Powerful winds blew through as the country band Sugarland was getting ready to perform.

IOSHA investigated because workers were among the dead. Their investigation found three serious violations.

Now, to settle the case, Mid-America will pay $50,000 in penalties and create a written Safety Operations Management Plan for all future stage constructions with temporary roofs. Those penalties will be paid in four $12,500 periodic installments.

The company also agreed to conduct extensive training for current and future employees, and state officials said that's the biggest investment for Mid-America.

"We're going to get training programs that are going to make employees much more safe in their workplaces as we move forward - both the existing employees, and any future employees of Mid-America that they may hire to work on these kinds of stages," said Bob Dittmer with the Indiana Department of Labor. "That's critical. That's really what we're after."

Mid-America released a statement Monday saying that while it "contested the appropriateness of the citations and made no admission of any wrongdoing by entering into the settlement, Mid-America believed that it was important to move forward in a cooperative effort with IOSHA and to avoid the costs and expenses of further litigation."

Monday's agreement ends all of the IOSHA investigations, but there are still a number of civil cases that 13 Investigates will continue to follow.