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Stage collapse victims sue Sugarland

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 6:01 PM EST, Wed November 23, 2011
Seven people were killed and more than 40 were injured when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair on August 13.
Seven people were killed and more than 40 were injured when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair on August 13.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sugarland had "ultimate" control over the stage, victims' lawsuit says
  • Seven people died, more than 40 were hurt when stage collapsed on fans
  • The suit includes families of four of the seven people who died from the stage collapse
  • Sugarland's representative said the group would offer no comment about the lawsuit

(CNN) -- The families of four people killed and dozens injured when a stage collapsed at a Sugarland concert in August filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the country duo.

Seven people were killed and at least 40 injured when metal scaffolding fell onto the "Sugarpit," a section usually occupied by Sugarland's most faithful fans, when a storm swept through the Indiana State Fair on August 13.

The lawsuit, which comprises 48 plaintiffs, contends that the band "failed or refused to cancel the Sugarland concert despite inclement weather" and that it had "ultimate control over the lighting" that fell on many of the victims.

"Sugarland had supervisory authority and discretion for stage size, lighting, instruments, trusses, sound equipment and location of sound equipment, and the stage system," the suit said.

Forecasters warned that heavy rain and strong winds would hit the fair nearly two hours before the storm moved through, causing the collapse of the stage. The National Weather Service estimated winds at 60 to 70 mph.

"Sugarland was not required to perform if Sugarland determined their performance would be impaired or prevented due to inclement weather," the suit said. "The decision whether to cancel the Sugarland concert due to weather conditions was the responsibility of Sugarland."

Sugarland's representative said the group would offer no comment about the lawsuit.

The suit also names other defendants, including Mid-America Sound, the company that rented the stage, roof and lighting system, and event promoter Live Nation.

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