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Sugarland Deny Responsibility for Stage Collapse Tragedy—but Are They Blaming Fans?

Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Joey Foley/Getty Images

Sugarland have reluctantly waded into the blame game. Though mostly to make sure that the fingers aren't pointed anywhere near their direction.

The country duo has responded to a negligence suit filed against them claiming that the band was at least partly responsible for the tragic and deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse last year.

Needless to say, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush beg to differ.

MORE: Sugarland sued for state fair stage collapse

Instead of accepting blame for the Aug. 13 tragedy, in which seven people were killed and 40 injured when severe weather conditions toppled the front of the stage, Sugarland claims in documents obtained by Indy's WRTV, that the devastation was the result of a "gust of wind of unprecedented intensity" and "a true accident, or act of God."

And, it follows, nothing they either contributed to or could have prevented.

Filed last November, the civil suit accused the band, the concert's promoters and several other companies responsible for building the stage of negligence, claiming they allowed it to become overloaded, failed to properly monitor the encroaching and threatening weather and finally failed to properly evacuate the area in a timely manner.

In their response to the filing, Sugarland argues that "they had nothing to with the construction of the venue" or therefore its safety.

MORE: Indiana settles up for state fair stage collapse

"The incident at issue in this litigation resulted from a gust of wind of unprecedented intensity, which caused a structure that may have been improperly designed, maintained and/or inspected to fail," the documents read. "As such, this was a true accident or Act of God."

Oddly, they also seemed to blame some of the victims themselves for their injuries, stating that "some or all of the plaintiffs failed to exercise due care for their own safety" and further that "some or all of the plaintiffs knowingly and voluntarily assumed and/or incurred the risk of injury to themselves."

Blaming the victims? Not the best way to endear yourselves to fans, Sugarland. However, the band has since released a statement clarifying their response.

MORE: Woman accused of faking injuries from Sugarland tragedy

"Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster," the band's manager, Gail Gellman, told E! News. "The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched.

"For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them."

Meanwhile, the band also took time to direct the litigious gaze of the plaintiffs elsewhere, saying that Indiana State Fair officials, state police and members of the labor union who helped construct the stage that ultimately collapsed were really the ones responsible for the horrific incident, and that they—under their company's name of Lucky Star Inc.—had no control or say in the construction of the stage.

"Lucky Star Inc. did not have any control over the size of the stage nor the public address system, as this was all provided for by the Indiana Fair Board."

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 51 people total, including the families and estates of four deceased fans as well as some of the injured audience, is seeking unspecified damages.

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