Sugarland in W. Va. for court-ordered depositions about stage collapse

Mid-America Sound, the company who built the stage, brought the pair to West Virginia using a court order.

Charleston, W. Va.

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush each spent several hours with a roomful of attorneys who wanted to take them back to the night the stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair. Mid-America Sound, the company who built the stage, brought the pair to West Virginia using a court order.

Attorneys involved in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse lawsuits took turns questioning Nettles and Bush during court-ordered depositions in Charleston, W. Va., Thursday and Friday. The band was on the way to a concert in Kentucky.

"They were in a tunnel below the stage, so, what do they know, and when do they know it?" said Bill Johnson, Sugarland's attorney, after Bush's deposition.

Johnson, an attorney out of Chicago, Ill., defended the band and admitted to objecting to other attorneys' attempts to do what he called going outside the scope of the partial deposition as ordered by a Marion County judge.

"I believe that they've been given a message to stay on message and do what they think they need to do to repair their reputations with the fans, but the truth will come out, and I think the lack of compassion demonstrated in these demonstrations speaks volumes," said Valaparaiso attorney Ken Allen, who represents several victims of the collapse.

Sugarland's spokesman released a statement Thursday:

“The fact is that Jennifer and Kristian never told anyone not to delay the concert because of the weather. They care deeply about their fans and, as they’ve said, nobody wants to get to the bottom of what happened more than they do.”

Like Bush, fellow singer Nettles avoided Fox59's questions. She spent nearly five hours with attorney's on Thursday.

"They came in, and they answered the questions as best they could," said Johnson.

The bands former manager is expected to be deposed next. A top State Fair official testified that Sugarland, through their staff, refused to delay the show twice despite the threat of bad weather.

"I think you better talk to the people that control the venue," said Johnson. "You should talk to them."

"We really now have a much clearer picture of their involvement, what they were doing," said Tony Patterson, an attorney for the victims.

Bush and Nettles can be deposed again. Attorneys also said upwards of 50 additional people may provide testimony. Counsel will meet next on Tuesday to begin working on a plan to resolve the pending litigation.

Mid-America Sound, the company who owns and built the stage, brought the pair to Charleston through a court order claiming they were not making themselves available. Like Sugarland, Mid-America Sound is being sued by the injured and by the families who lost loved ones.
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