December 1, 2011

Brain Injury Lawsuit Filed In Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago injury lawyers were shocked last summer when word spread about the horrific stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. The popular country music duo Sugarland was set to perform in South Bend last August at the outdoor venue, and a large group had gathered near the stage and in the bleachers in anticipation of the show. Tragically, due to high winds, the temporary stage on which the concert was supposed to take place collapsed before the show began. The results were catastrophic. Four people were killed, including Illinois residents, and at least forty four others were injured—many of them seriously. Many of those hurt suffered serious brain injuries in the tragedy. Traumatic brain injuries are common in accidents such as this, which involve large heavy objects making contact with the head of the victim.

Expectedly, at least fifty different plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against various defendants in the aftermath of this tragedy. For example, one twenty-one year old victim filed a brain injury lawsuit after she was hurt in the event. The young woman spent several days on a ventilator, broke her collarbone, broke several ribs, punctured a lung, and suffered brain trauma after being hit by falling stage equipment. The victim is still undergoing therapy and admits that her road to recovery is a long one.

Many other legal actions have been commenced by the various individuals hurt in the accident and the families of those killed. When large scale accidents like this occur, there are quite a few tricky legal issues to sort through. For one thing, many different defendants are usually named, because there are usually multiple acts of negligence which leads to the harm. For example, in this case, there are at least thirteen named defendants. Those defendants include the band itself, the state government which put on the fair, the companies involved in building the stage, promoting the event, and various others.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers know that as the case unfolds a variety of things may happen. A closer look at the evidence could reveal that some of those parties actually were not liable for the tragedy and could not have prevented any harm. If that is uncovered those defendants may be dismissed from the suit. On the other hand, it could become clear that many different parties failed to act reasonably, with each breach leading to at least partial blame for allowing the victims to suffer injury. It will likely need to be determined which entities had the power to stop the concert due to the high winds. The state officials who were running the show probably could and should have understood the risks posed to concert-goers because of the weather and canceled the event. Similarly, the contract signed between the band and the event organizers suggest that the band actually had the final say on whether or not the event was to proceed. Possessing the power to cancel the event and failing to do so may mean that the band bears some responsibility.

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