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AG: State Fair stage collapse victim payments completed

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Victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse soon will receive a supplemental and final disbursement of money allocated for victims of the tragedy that killed seven people and injured scores more.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday that $6 million in state aid approved by the Legislature for victims of the disaster had been divided among 59 victims. They will receive money in wire transfers or in the mail in coming days.

The supplemental aid is in addition to $5 million distributed previously under the state’s limit for tort claims, bringing total state victim compensation to $11 million. The estates of the seven victims who died each received a total of $700,000. A flowchart of how compensation was divided is available here. 

The second round of compensation was overseen by an arbitration panel that paid all victim medical expenses through mid-November and made provision for those who are permanently paralyzed and those who will require long-term care. Victims may also seek damages from private defendants.

At a news conference Thursday, Zoeller praised the work of an arbitration panel and plaintiff attorneys who worked together to expedite compensation to victims. “Not only do we believe it was more fair in a lot of ways, but it was a much, much faster way to speed relief to the victims,” he said.

Indianapolis attorney William Baten chaired the arbitration panel that also included attorneys Denise Page of Indianapolis and Eugene Stewart of Brookville. It was a nonadversarial process in which Baten said the panel could make individual determinations based on information each victim’s attorney provided.

“We were able to have all the information we needed to make informed decisions,” Baten said. Reaching settlements moved at “light speed, compared to traditional litigation,” he said.

“It was appropriate that the Indiana legislators decided to provide additional financial assistance to victims of the State Fair tragedy in light of all that victims have endured,” Zoeller said in a news release. “Developing and implementing an equitable method for allocating the funds was a complicated process, but our objective that victims receive expedited funds without years of litigation was accomplished.”
 



 

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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