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Sugarland attorneys: Injured Ind. fans share blame

Discussion in 'Celebrity and Entertainment News' started by Reader, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...org>&news_id=18831646&src=most_popular_viewed

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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."

    More at link...
     
  2. MarthaM

    MarthaM New Member

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    They were talking about this yesterday on a radio show I listen to. The attorney(s) can't have it both ways. On the one hand, they are saying that the storm was an Act Of God that no one could have seen coming, yet on the other hand they seem to be saying that the fans should have seen it coming.

    I suppose this kind of response is typical and even expected in a case like this, where lawyers try to assign responsibility to everyone except their clients. But blaming the victim(s) never comes across well.
     
  3. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I agree that it's bad p.r. But there's a reason we have an expression about being smart enough to come in out of the rain.

    If a storm arises and people don't seek cover, how is that the band's fault rather than the victims? Seems to me, Sugarland's attorney wasn't the first to start blaming people for the weather.

    I don't know Indiana law, but most states allow a jury to assign blame to multiple parties (including the victims) and assign a percentage to each. That percentage in turn helps to determine what damages, if any, are assessed. I assume that's what the Sugarland attorney is trying to do, at least: spread the blame around.

    As for the band "not caring about the victims", what are they supposed to do? Go door-to-door and change bandages?
     
  4. Velouria

    Velouria Don't Drink the Pinellas Punch!

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    IMO, the band wouldn't have said anything had the fans not named them in the suit in the first place. Sugarland was not responsible for the stage set-up, but they have the proverbial "deep pockets".
     
  5. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa Well-Known Member

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    The attorney has a point - it was an unexpectedly strong storm, an "act of God," if you will. At the same time, when a storm crops up, people should have the common sense to take shelter.

    The attorney isn't "blaming" the fans - the attorney is pointing out there is some blame to be assigned to the fans, because for many states, that's how negligence percentages (and thus damages) are assessed, by a percentage of blame. "Failing to exercise due care" is legal terminology. It's not the attorney or the band saying that the fans were completely at fault and deserved what happened - it's saying they basically didn't use common sense and are partially to blame.

    Furthermore, this isn't the band saying these things. It's a legal pleading. There's a form and a language to these things, and it shouldn't be taken personally. And frankly, I don't see what's so terrible about pointing out that the audience members failed to take due care themselves. The only reason the band is being sued is because they have the deep pockets.
     
  6. MarthaM

    MarthaM New Member

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    I think it just looks worse to people for the band (via their attorneys) to say that the fans have some responsibility. If the people who built the stage say that, it doesn't seem as bad to a lot of folks because nobody knows that company. But fans and the public know Sugarland, they're the public figure, so it just sounds worse for them to say such things, even if it's typical for lawyers to do that.
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I see your point and as a Facebook "friend" of Sugarland, I know their p.r. intern does her best to encourage the feeling that I actually know Jennifer and Kristian.

    But adults really should fight the delusion that superstars are our personal friends. I befriended them on FB to keep up with what the band is doing, not because I fantasize that Jennifer "cares" about me personally. Why would she do that just because I buy her CDs?
     

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