As we reported back in November, the country duo Sugarland is being sued by 44 victims of last fall’s fatal Indiana State Fair stage collapse.
Now Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush have been ordered by the court to provide depositions in the trial next month, the Associated Press reports.
The band’s attorneys initially hoped to delay the depositions until May, citing preparations for an upcoming tour, but Marion Superior Court Judge Theodore Sosin is ordering Nettles and Bush to testify between the dates of April 1 and April 15. (Sugarland is nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the upcoming ACM Awards, scheduled for April 1 in Las Vegas.)
Seven people died in the August 13 incident in Indiana, and the suit’s plaintiff’s accuse the band of negligence for not canceling the show due to inclement weather. “Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night,” says plaintiffs’ attorney Mario Massillamany.
In their own statement, the band addressed the disaster as an “act of God” and claimed that “some or all of the plaintiffs failed to exercise due care for their own safety,” and also that “some or all of the plaintiffs knowingly and voluntarily assumed and/or incurred the risk of injury to themselves.”
Sugarland’s manager quickly clarified the bizarrely blame-y statement, saying, “Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster. The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched. For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them.”