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State fair settlement fails

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Mid-America Sound Corp., one of two companies that offered an additional $7.2 million to victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, announced it will not proceed with its offer after deciding not enough claimants accepted the settlement arrangement.

Mid-America and James Thomas Engineering offered the additional funds in exchange for a sufficient number of victims releasing both companies from lawsuits. Mid-America decided that although 51 of the 62 eligible claimants accepted the offer, that number wasn’t enough to proceed with the settlement.

The company announced it was withdrawing its offer Wednesday evening. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the state will proceed with distributing the $6 million in supplemental state-provided funds to the victims and will seek to facilitate discussions between the claimants and James Thomas Engineering.

“Because State Fair victims said they needed financial assistance sooner rather than later, my office made an effort to facilitate a private settlement to increase the relief available. It was worthwhile to try to bring the claimants and defendant companies together; but since the parties did not reach an agreement, we will move to distribute the original $6 million the Legislature appropriated, well before the January 2013 deadline, and we will continue to look for opportunities to serve the victims,” Zoeller said in a statement released Wednesday night.

Because the agreement fell through, claimants can still pursue lawsuits against Mid-America or other defendants not a party to settlement agreements.

Zoeller had attempted to resolve indemnification claims made by Mid-America against the state. The company claims in legal pleadings that the state must cover its legal costs in lawsuits related to the stage-rigging collapse, which the state denies. A bill passed by the General Assembly this year gave the AG’s office the ability to resolve those claims. It also contained language stating that claimants who receive supplemental funds may not sue the state under an indemnification claim.

James Thomas Engineering is not suing the state.

“On a personal note I will admit to some disappointment, but I believe the public-private effort was nonetheless worthwhile. Without putting the State at any risk, we provided an opportunity to speed more than twice the funds to the victims, which has always been my focus. It's not my role to assign blame that an agreement was not reached, but I will continue to offer whatever assistance my office can provide,” Zoeller added.

The attorney general’s office will circulate additional information to eligible claimants and their attorneys this week information about distribution of the $6 million.

 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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