The deadline for victims of the deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse to file legal claims with the state has passed. Officials are now trying to figure out how much to pay each victim out of the allotted $5 million. The deadline to submit tort claims ended on November 1st. The Attorney General’s office had received 100 claims by November 2nd. Officials will accept more claims by mail so long as they were postmarked by the November 1st deadline.
The 100 claims cover everything from death of family members and serious injuries to emotional distress. The Attorney General’s office has been working to develop a system for paying out awards on the claims. But individuals can collect no more than $700,000, and state law limits the total pool of money to $5 million. According to the Attorney General’s office, families of people who died and those who were seriously injured will get priority.
It’s probable that there won’t be enough money from the fund to pay the claims. For example, if the state pays out the $700,000 maximum to the families of the seven people who were killed, it will spend up $4.9 million of the $5 million total, leaving about $100,000 for all of the other Claimants. This is why the state’s $5 million liability cap is much too low and really absurd.
The tort claim fund isn’t the only source for payment of claims. A separate State Fair Relief Fund to help victims will accept claims until Nov. 14. It consists of donations to help victims who were hospitalized as a result of the collapse. Lawyers also are considering lawsuits against others involved in the scheduled Aug. 13 Sugarland concert, including the band and the company that made the stage. A gust of wind toppled the stage rigging onto the crowd as the band was preparing to take the stage, killing seven people and injuring more than 40 others.
Source: Associated Press
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