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Opening Arguments

We love our fans

Everybody is blaming everybody else for the deaths and injuries from the Indiana State Fair stage collapse. This one is getting the most attention right now:

Attorneys for country duo Sugarland said concertgoers were at least partly to blame for injuries suffered in a stage collapse, drawing a sharp reaction from fans Tuesday and prompting the band's manager to issue a statement criticizing the finger-pointing.

Members of the band expressed shock and sadness after last summer's stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair killed seven people and injured dozens more.

But in their response to a civil lawsuit, the band's attorneys said injured fans "failed to exercise due care for their own safety" and contended some or all of their injuries "resulted from their own fault."

Yeah, stoopid fans, you liked us and came to see our show. If you hadn't been there, you wouldn't have been hurt. Not going to increase record sales much that way.

It's true that we are all responsbile for our own actions (not talking about liability in a court setting here).  But there are differing degrees of what may be described as "blame." If I go to the roof of the tallest building in town during a lightning storm, I'm sort of tempting fate, aren't I? If I'm standing on my front lawn and a toilet falls from an airplane and hits me on the head, I wasn't exactly guilty of carelessness. Once the fans were sitting in front of the stage, how fast did the storm come up? How much time did they have to decide whether to move away from the stage? Having no expectations of the stage toppling on them, did they really have enough information to make the decision with anyway?

And it's not fair to blame Sugarland (in a general philosophical sense), either, just because they were the reason for the fans being there. If someone gets killed by a drunk driver on the way to a party at your house, how much should you regard it as your fault? Whether the band faces legal liability is another question. It has been alleged that their contract called for them having the final say on whether to delay the show and that, indeed, they specifically resisted a delay because it would have complicated their travel to the next show.


Tim Zank
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 4:25pm

You know whos fault it is? Nobody's. Period. Enough.

We have gone so far in this mind-numbing task of absolving everyone of any responsibility we will never return to common sense. This is 2012 and there is now someone to blame or "hold accountable" for anything and everything you should ever encounter.