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Indiana sets up special process for state fair claims

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The state on Monday asked families of those killed or injured in a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair to complete a new customized claim form by Nov. 1 so the state can expedite settlements.

"Our focus and our priority will be on compensating the families of those who died and those who were injured in the State Fair tragedy so that they are treated equitably," Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a news release.

The attorney general's office said the new form is available online at the agency's website and by calling 800-760-4616.

The form allows victims to apply for payments from the Indiana Tort Claim Fund. As of Monday, the agency said 21 claims had been filed against the $5 million fund, along with a handful of lawsuits. Traditionally, a tort claim can be a precursor to a lawsuit, but the state is working with victims compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to develop a process for paying claims without going to court.

However, the amount of money available for victims of the stage collapse is limited because the law limits caps the state's liability at $700,000 per person or a total of $5 million per incident. Seven people died and more than 40 were injured as a result of the Aug. 13 accident.

The attorney general's office said people have 270 days in which to file a tort claim under state law, but it urged people to file by Nov. 1 because the funds will likely be exhausted after that.

The state has hired an Indianapolis claims management firm to process the forms. The attorney general's office said the money would be distributed under a "streamlined" process and guidelines being developed by Feinberg.

The state urged people who had already filed tort claims to also fill out the new forms.

Feinberg is also working with the Indiana State Fair Commission to develop a system for distributing private charitable donations intended for victims of the stage collapse.

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  1. Why should citizens rates increase forever to basically reduce Dukes cost to operate in the future? They will have no meter readers, no connect/disconnect personnel and will need fewer lineman to handle the same number of customers. Add to that the ability to replace customer service by giving detailed information electronically. Why do we have to subsidize the cost cutting measures of a Public Utility?

  2. In response to Sassafras, I have to ask if you relocated directly from Bloomington to Carmel? First, as you point out, Carmel is 48 square miles. Do you think it’s possible that some areas are more densely developed than others? That might explain traffic density in some places while others are pretty free moving. Second, your comment “have you ever been to Chicago--or just about any city outside of Indiana?” belies your bias. I don’t know, Sassafras, have you never been to Nashville, Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix? They’re not a lot different in density than Indy. One more thing…I understand these comment sections are for expressing opinions, so those of us just looking for facts have to be patient, but you mention “low-density” Indy. How many cities in the US comprise 400 square miles with about 10% of that still being agricultural? Those facts certainly can impact the statistics.

  3. With all the past shady actions of Duke with utility regulators, one wonders do they really need such a huge amount? Concerned regulators not protecting ratepayers from the aggressive Duke monolith.

  4. I thought that had to be the way it was but had to ask because I wasn't sure. Thanks Again!

  5. I could be wrong, but I don't think Butler views the new dorm as mere replacements for Schwitzer and or Ross.

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