Stage Owner Settles Indiana Violations

Mid-America Sound Corp. the company that owned part of the stage that collapsed and killed seven fans at the Indiana State Fair in 2011, will pay a $50,000 fine for safety violations, according to the Indiana State Labor Commission.

The company also agreed to prepare a safety plan for future stage projects and provide additional training for employees, while admitting no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement.

State Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble said in a statement the agreement was “a positive outcome for everyone involved” that would “create a safer workplace for Indiana event production workers.”

Mid-America Sound attorney Michael Moon added, “Mid-America believed that it was important to move forward in a cooperative effort with [Indiana OSHA] and to avoid the costs and expenses of further litigation.”

The agency originally fined Mid-America $63,000 for three serious violations of industry standards.

More than 40 people were injured in addition to those killed. Mid-America owned the stage roof and rigging used to hold the lights and sound equipment that crashed down during a storm just prior to a scheduled Sugarland concert and the state fair in August 2011.

A judge recently ruled the state can’t be held responsible for work performed at the site by Mid-America, rejecting the company’s claim that its liability ended once the stage was erected. Mid-America is reportedly still considering an appeal of the ruling, which could result in a substantial jury award or out-of-court settlement.

The state already has paid out $11 million to victims or their estates.