Sugarland Could Face Lawsuit Following Indiana Stage Collapse
The family of a 22-year-old fan killed last month when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair has filed a legal notice charging the members of Sugarland, among others, with "gross negligence and/or recklessness."
Jennifer Haskell died alongside her best friend Alina BigJohny when strong winds swept through the Indianapolis fairgrounds on Aug. 13, sending columns of scaffolding tumbling into the crowd. The accident left seven dead and dozens injured.
According to local NBC news station WHTR, Jennifer's parents and sister have cited "at least 15 entities" in their notice -- the possible precursor to a lawsuit -- including "the band known as Sugarland, and its members, agents and employees."
"Haskell's injuries and wrongful death were the proximate result of the defendants' gross negligence and/or recklessness," the notice reads.
Sugarland never performed at the concert, as the tragedy occurred minutes before the country duo was due onstage. While the families of several victims have filed lawsuits, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has absolved all involved.
"This is the finest event of its kind in America," Daniels told the local ABC affiliate WJLA. "And this desperately sad, as far as I can tell fluke event, doesn't change that."
Among those convinced Sugarland wasn't responsible for the mishap are a pair of schoolteachers from Upstate New York. On Sept. 3, when the band performed in Syracuse at the New York State Fair, the two super fans distributed 6,000 signs reading, "Little Miss, Little Mister, It'll Be Alright Again," convincing concertgoers to hold them up during the show.
In a statement issued after the performance, Sugarland said they were "incredibly moved by the Little Miss Project Live" and thanked the organizers for "reaching out with so much hope."