INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's being called unprecedented in the state of Indiana: 48 state fair victims have filed one massive lawsuit against 14 defendants.
Those hurt in the Aug. 13 stage rigging collapse blame more than a dozen businesses for the accident that claimed the lives of seven people and hurt many more. Carl Brizzi, attorney for one of the plaintiffs, said investigating and trying a case of this magnitude takes time, resources and lots of money.
"Some of these cases, you can spend upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 in expert witness fees. That comes out of money that the victims would otherwise have to aid them in their recovery," said Brizzi, attorney for Heather Goodrich, whose husband, Glenn Goodrich died in the collapse.
Brizzi said the collaborative efforts of 48 plaintiffs send a powerful message to defendants.
"We're not trying to cut side deals with defendants to make more money or get out of the case," he said.
Instead, all 48 victims and their lawyers are standing as a unified team against 14 defendants, including Mid-America Sound Corp., the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local No. 30 and Sugarland Music Inc.
"It's our contention that (Sugarland) had a certain amount of control over whether or not they went on that night, and its our contention that there was some insistence on their part that the show go on," Brizzi said.
Asked how long it could be before the suit is resolved, Brizzi said: "My son will probably be done with college before this is over, and my youngest is 9. It'll take a long time."
The state of Indiana is not named in the suit because plaintiffs have to file notice before suing the state, and some of the 48 defendants hadn't yet done so. Brizzi said because the state already has plans in place to pay out the entire $5 million cap to victims outside of the court process, he doesn't believe a law suit against the state will be necessary.
Avon Police Department and Avon Community School Corp. are investigating photos sent from female students to male students, police officials said.
Indiana State Police officials are investigating 90 cases of scrap metal thefts.
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