State Fair victims to receive money from new fund if they agree not to sue


Karen Pavy does not remember seeing the rigging fall at the Indiana State Fair last August, but she will have the scars to remind her of that night.

"The last I remember, the Sara Bareilles concert had ended and it was still a sunny, bright evening," said Pavy.

Pavy said she woke up with the grandstand on top of her.

"I had a crushed collarbone, a tibial plateau fracture in my leg, some head lacerations and broken ribs."

Pavy got some of the state's original $5 million in Tort money.  A supplemental relief fund could allow for her to receive even more.  Attorney General Greg Zoeller rolled out the plan, aimed at providing more money for stage rigging victims and their families. 

A total of $13.2 million will be divided, $6 million came from the state and $7.2 million from companies Mid-America Sound and James Thomas Engineering.

"This is all about putting the victims first," said Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

The estates of the seven people who died will receive a total of $700,000 a piece. Victims with non-permanent injuries could have all of their medical bills paid. The amount of money for victims with permanent injuries depends on an arbitrator.

There is a catch, if victims take the money they waive their right to sue the company in charge of designing the stage and the company who put it together.

"They may be trading some money for time, for moving faster and that may be a tough decision for some of them," said Representative Ed Delaney.

Delaney said the decision now in front of victims and their families highlights an even greater problem.

"It makes the point that if we had adequate funds available in the first place we could have gotten this done even faster and even more fairly," said Delaney.

Pavy said she has already made up her mind.

"I do not have a problem with that," said Pavy.  "I was not going to sue anybody in the first place, I do not have a problem saying I will not now."

The Attorney General's office said letters with instructions will be sent out to the victims starting next week.  They will have until July 13 to make up their minds about whether to take the money and not sue, or continue their suit and not take the money.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps