Jennifer Nettles' Deposition About The Indiana State Fair Tragedy Released
April 17, 2012 at 3:42 AM (PT)
SUGARLAND's JENNIFER NETTLES provided a taped deposition to attorneys involved in several lawsuits, and said she was never asked to delay the band's show at the INDIANA STATE FAIR because of an approaching storm. If asked, she said, the band would have complied.
The lawsuits are the result of the stage collapse at the INDIANA STATE FAIR in which seven people died and more than 40 were injured shortly before SUGARLAND was to perform.
CNN reports "DON ASHER, GM for a law firm that represents some of those victims, released clips of NETTLES' deposition to the media MONDAY. It was taped THURSDAY in CHARLESTON, WV."
"We're invited to come into a place and play. It's not our place," NETTLES said. "I don't feel it's my responsibility, or my management's responsibility, to evacuate the fans in the case of danger. Do I care about their safety? Absolutely."
"In an affidavit from a lawsuit against one company, the fair's executive director says she twice sent the show's promoter to talk to SUGARLAND in an effort to delay the show," noted CNN. "Twice the answer came back -- we want to go on, according to the deposition by CYNTHIA HOYE, the executive director of the state fair, according to the court filing."
ASHER explained the reason the deposition tape was released, saying "In our opinion the deposition tells a different story than the one being portrayed by NETTLES' attorneys. They (SUGARLAND) could have delayed the start of the concert or sought to cancel it. They had access to Doppler radar and were aware of the storm approaching. In our opinion they (SUGARLAND) bear ultimate responsibility."
SUGARLAND spokesman ALLAN MAYER told CNN, "We're not sure what these lawyers think they're accomplishing by leaking selectively edited portions of the transcripts, but we don't think it's fooling anyone -- and it sure isn't bringing any truth or clarity to last summer's tragedy. Their self-serving assertions about what SUGARLAND knew or could have done are contradicted not only by KRISTIAN and JENNIFER's complete testimony, but also by the independent reports of the INDIANA Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the investigators hired by the state."