Sugarland Names Non-Parties As Causing Indiana Stage Collapse

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Sugarland has named non-parties and the victims themselves as causes of this tragic accident.

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Clearly there is a disconnect between Sugarland’s public relations, legal response, and actions on the night of the tragedy.

Mario Massillamany, class action and investment fraud attorney of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that “Sugarland is trying to place the blame on many other people and entities, for the stage collapse,” which occurred at the Indiana State Fair Grounds on August 13, 2011. Sugarland, through its recent answer to the complaint brought against the band, in the lawsuit entitled 'Jill Polet et al vs Sugarland Music, Inc et al', in Marion County Superior Court 14 in Indiana under cause number 49D14-1111-CT-44823, has named at least eight others individuals or entities, not named in the lawsuit, as bearing some fault or responsibility for the matter, not counting the victims themselves. At the same time Sugarland’s answer to the complaint completely disclaims any responsibility or fault of their own for this tragedy.

After filing this answer with the court, Sugarland’s manager, Gail Gellman, issued this statement to the Associated Press on February 21, 2012: “Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster. The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans.” Scott Starr, a partner at Starr Austen & Miller LLP, takes issue with that statement, saying, “Sugarland’s stated concern for their fans seems at odds with their earlier carefully crafted legal answer to the Complaint disclaiming all duty towards these same fans.”

According to court documents, Sugarland responded in their answer that the victim’s injuries were “caused by open and obvious danger” and that they “have no duty toward the Plaintiffs.”

Although Sugarland has disclaimed all responsibility for the construction or maintenance of the stage in their Answer, Mario Massillamany and other attorneys for the victims are in the process of investigating the situation.

A copy of Sugarland’s response can be found at

Currently, Starr, Austen & Miller LLP has pending litigation against DuPont for the alleged environmental damages caused by their Imprelis product in the case entitled as Shomo v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (Case Number 1:11-00633) in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania. Starr, Austen & Miller LLP handles stock broker fraud cases, truck accident cases, and multimillion dollar, nationwide class actions.


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Mario Massillamany
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