The majority of the victims of the Indiana State Fair disaster have agreed to accept shares of a $13.2 million (£8.3 million) settlement offer almost exactly a year after the stage collapse that killed seven people.
Seven people were left dead and dozens more injured when high winds brought down scaffolding and rigging moments before country duo Sugarland were scheduled to perform at the event on 13 August, 2011.
State officials and two private companies offered up a multi-million dollar settlement to the victims and it has now been revealed that 51 of the 62 claimants have agreed to accept a share of the money rather than continue with litigation.
By accepting the offer, the victims have agreed to release bosses from Mid-America Sound and James Thomas Engineering, companies responsible for setting up the event's stage, from further liability - preventing any future lawsuits, according to Indystar.com.
State officials offered $6 million (£3.8 million), while the two companies put up $7.2 million (£4.5 million). Firm executives have until 15 August (12) to decide whether to agree to the settlement.
In a statement, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says, "This is an expedited and reasonable settlement that puts victims first and will provide for the immediate medical and financial needs now, rather than after waging lengthy and uncertain litigation."
The 2012 Indiana State Fair kicks off on Friday (03Aug12) and organisers are planning to hold a moment of silence on the anniversary of the disaster. All of the fair's amusements and rides will stop at 8.46pm to remember those who lost their lives last year (11).
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