HolyCoast: Sugarland Attorneys Step In It, Blame Fans for Injuries in Stage Collapse

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sugarland Attorneys Step In It, Blame Fans for Injuries in Stage Collapse

This was not a wise P.R. move for the country band Sugarland that was involved in the tragic Indianapolis stage collapse:
Attorneys for country duo Sugarland said concertgoers were at least partly to blame for injuries suffered in a stage collapse, drawing a sharp reaction from fans Tuesday and prompting the band's manager to issue a statement criticizing the finger-pointing.

Members of the band expressed shock and sadness after last summer's stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair killed seven people and injured dozens more.

But in their response to a civil lawsuit, the band's attorneys said injured fans "failed to exercise due care for their own safety" and contended some or all of their injuries "resulted from their own fault."

The comments outraged Haley Waggoner of Cincinnati, who was in the front row with her twin sister when the collapse happened and suffered a concussion that caused headaches and other problems for weeks.

"It disgusts me," said Waggoner, who has attended eight or nine Sugarland shows. "Through this whole process, I don't feel like the band cares that much about fans."

The band's attorneys also called the high winds that toppled the stage rigging an "act of God" and denied the band had any responsibility for the stage construction or to warn fans.

Waggoner said while the band couldn't control the weather and didn't build the stage, she believes Sugarland could have done more to warn concertgoers of the impending danger. She said she'll never see them live again.

"If they don't believe in us for something that isn't our fault, then I don't want to support them," she said.
The band should never have been named as a defendant in this lawsuit. Of course they don't control the weather, and the fairgrounds is responsible for the staging and crowd control. The band just shows up, plays, and leaves. The attorneys going for the deep pockets brought the band into the lawsuit, which in my mind should be dismissed as far as Sugarland is concerned.

However, lashing out at the fans who took the hits when the stage came down doesn't help at all and certainly won't help the band with their fans. The attorneys should have known better.  They did not serve their clients well.

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