Bryan Cohen Mar. 13, 2014, 2:57pm
INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a legal victory for the State on Tuesday after a Marion County court ruled the state is not responsible for indemnifying or defending Mid-America Sound Corp.
Mid-America Sound-Corp. is the private company that supplied the stage rigging that collapsed at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 13, 2011. Mid-America Sound claimed it had a contractual right to be indemnified by the state and that its civil liability and legal defense were the state's financial responsibility. The State and Zoeller's office denied the indemnification claim.
In the ongoing litigation stemming from the collapse, a Marion County judge ruled against Mid-America and in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission.
"Victims of the State Fair tragedy still can pursue this company for a judgment in civil court, but the court made it clear that the company cannot transfer or shift its liability or legal expense to the state and taxpayers," Zoeller said. "This is an important ruling that upholds the prohibition set in statute that the state cannot indemnify a private company."
Zoeller said his office will aggressively defend if Mid-America files an appeal.
To date, the State of Indiana paid $11 million in public funds to victims of the State Fair stage collapse, not including private charitable efforts.