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Sugarland Lawyers Blame Fans for Stage Collapse Injuries

Attorneys says strong winds were an 'act of God'

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush of Sugarland perform during the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway.
Sandy Young/WireImage for IMG
February 21, 2012 4:10 PM ET

Sugarland's attorneys have issued a statement blaming fans at their doomed Indiana State Fair show last summer for sustaining injuries during a stage collapse, claiming they failed to take steps to ensure their own safety. The statement is a response to a civil suit filed by survivors and families of the seven people who were killed in the collapse. The suit seeks unspecified damages from Sugarland as well as from the producers and stage-riggers of the show.

The country rock band's attorneys say that the powerful winds that caused the collapse on August 13th were an "act of God," and that fans voluntarily assumed risk of injury by attending the gig. "Some or all of the plaintiffs' claimed injuries resulted from their own fault," reads the statement, which was issued on Thursday.

The lawsuit statement differs greatly from the public response of Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles, who made a point of expressing her deep grief over the situation and wrote that she was "moved by the great heroism as I watched so many brave Indianapolis fans actually run toward the stage to try and help lift and rescue those injured."

The state of Indiana settled a class action lawsuit on behalf of the stage collapse victims in December.

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