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Indiana Appeals Court Upholds Stage Collapse Liability Limit

March 26, 2015

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the state's $5 million cap on liability damages in a case brought by a 13-year-old Ohio girl who was hurt when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair.

A three-judge panel rejected arguments by the attorney for 13 year-old Jordyn Polet of Cincinnati, that the cap violates the Indiana Constitution and that she was treated differently compared to other claimants who sued the state. Polet initially rejected the state's offer of $1,690 from the $5 million pool for the victims. The Indiana General Assembly later added $6 million to the pool.

The girl, who was 10 at the time of the collapse, sustained leg and ankle injuries and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, court documents state. Her sister and mother sustained more serious injuries and both accepted settlements. The $5 million paid to about 62 victims was supplemented by an additional $6 million for 59 victims approved by the General Assembly in 2012.

The 2011 collapse occurred when high winds blew down rigging before a concert by the country duo Sugarland. Seven people were killed and more than 100 were injured.

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