Ohio Girl Sues Over State Fair Collapse Damages Cap

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December 16, 2014 — Eric Berman, Network Indiana — A 13-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio girl who was injured in the State Fair stage collapse is asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to throw out a cap on what the state can be sued for.

Jordyn Polet was 10 when the disaster at Sugarland‘s state fair concert killed seven people and injured 107.

Indiana law limits what a person can collect in damages from the state to 700-thousand dollars. Attorney Robert Peck isn‘t challenging that. But he argues a five-million-dollar cap on the total payout is unconstitutional. He notes if Jordyn had been the only casualty, she could have sought up to the 700-thousand-dollar maximum.

Solicitor General Tom Fisher argues Jordyn‘s offer was equal to everyone else‘s: 65-percent of her medical bills. He argues the Indiana Supreme Court has explicitly given legislators the power to limit the state‘s liability.

Judges questioned whether the cap instead runs afoul of the law requiring open access to courts. Once Jordyn turned down the settlement, there wasn‘t any money left to sue for.

Jordyn’s mother and sister were seriously injured and accepted a 400-thousand-dollar settlement. Legislators later approved a one-time increase in the money pool to 11-million dollars.

There‘s no indication when the court will rule.

The stage collapse killed seven people, including Tammy VanDam of Wanatah and injured more than 100 others.


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