Court of Appeals reverses decision on State Fair Stage collapse case

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Court of Appeals has ruled against the state over damages surrounding the State Fair collapse in 2011, sending it back to trial court.

Mid-America Sound Corporation built the roof and rigging used to hold the lights and sound equipment. It collapsed during a concert in August 2011, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

The company argued that the state was required by its contract to cover the company’s legal costs.

In March 2015, a Marion County judge ruled the Indiana State Fair Commission is not liable for work performed by a contractor involved in the accident. But the Court of Appeals ruling issued Monday says the state isn’t protected by the Indiana Tort Claims Act and may be responsible for some legal costs.

It’s a ruling Indiana’s Attorney General Greg Zoeller disagrees with.

“While we respect the Court of Appeals panel, we strenuously disagree with this ruling and we plan to petition the Indiana Supreme Court to review the case and overturn the decision. Our position is Indiana law is clear that the State cannot indemnify a private party, nor was there any agreement here to do so, and we will continue to fight the stage rigging contractor’s attempt to shift its legal responsibility for the State Fair tragedy onto the public,” said Zoeller.

He says the state will appeal the ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court.

To read the full ruling, click here.