AG's office begins distribution of funds to State Fair victims

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The estates of the seven people killed by the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August will receive at least $300,000 each if the offers extended by the state are accepted, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Tuesday. Some of those injured in the collapse will receive nothing from the $5 million Indiana Tort Claim Fund.

Those seven estates could collectively receive more than $2.18 million, with 58 of the surviving victims who were among the most severely injured receiving a portion of the remaining funds, ranging from $503,000 to $109 per victim. Thirty-one claimants will receive nothing from the state.

The amounts announced Tuesday must be accepted or rejected by the claimants. Each has until Dec. 12 to respond. If the funds are rejected, that money would be allotted for other claimants who accepted offers and their amounts would be recalculated. Once offers are accepted and claimants sign a release of liability, the state will pay out the money later this month.

Zoeller announced shortly after the Aug. 13 incident that he would distribute the full $5 million in tort claim funds to victims on an expedited basis. Kenneth Feinberg, who administered victim compensation funds after 9/11, the Virginia Tech shootings and the BP Gulf oil spill, was brought in to devise a protocol for distributing the settlement payments.

More than 100 tort claim notices were filed with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General in an attempt to receive a portion of the $5 million – the state’s maximum tort claim payout for this incident. U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker recently granted limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of that cap.

During the process of calculating offers, the AG’s office participated in mediation with a group of 30 attorneys and law firms representing many claimants and reached tentative accord on the protocol. The AG’s office said settlement offers are with the consent of the governor's office, and all claimants have the legal right to decline a settlement offer and take their chances and file a lawsuit in court.



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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.