For those folks in harm's way that terrifying night last August when a storm caused Sugarland's stage to collapse at the Indiana State Fair, here's some financial solace at least.
The Indiana Attorney General's Office confirmed that, as of Monday, 64 of the 65 victims have accepted settlement offers from the state that will see them receive checks from the $5 million tort claim fund, the maximum allowable under state law.
The estates of the seven people who died in the tragedy will get no less than a base payment of $300,000 each (up to a maximum $320,000), while the rest of the money, about $2.9 million, will be divvied up among the 58 people who were injured. Those amounts given are based on degree of injury the victim suffered— the largest amount being more than $500,000 and the smallest being $109, according to Bryan Corbin, spokesman for the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
One person who was offered $1,691 turned the sum down. It was redistributed to the other parties.
Money from the fund comes from state taxes and will help victims with medical and other financial needs. The payouts also release the state of Indiana from all future liability.
Of course, many of the victims and their families are seeking other avenues of compensation—notably lawsuits already launched against the country duo, concert promoter Live Nation, ESG Security and the stagehands' union.
For their part, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, who came mighty close themselves to being victims in the accident, expressed their condolences and performed a free benefit concert in October to benefit the families of those affected by the accident, raising over $900,000.
A rep for the band was unavailable for comment.
UPDATE Feb. 8, 2012: The Indiana State Labor Department found Mid-American Sound Corp., the company that built the stage, showed "plain indifference" to safety standards and committed three major violations in connection with the collapse. The company was fined $63,000. The department also cited the Indiana State Fair Commission and a stagehands union for safety regulation violations.
UPDATE: Aug. 2, 2012: The Indiana Attorney General's Office said that 51 of 62 eligible claimants have accepted shares of a $13.2 million settlement offer ($6 million from the state, $7.2 million from Mid-America Sound and James Thomas Engineering). Additional takers who postmarked their paperwork by Wednesday's midnight deadline will also be paid.