Union fighting warrant in stage collapse investigation

A stagehands union is fighting a state safety agency's attempt to seize records about its members as the agency investigates the deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Investigators from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration left empty-handed after arriving Thursday with a civil warrant at the Indianapolis office of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 30.

Stagehand Nathan Byrd was among the seven people fatally injured when strong winds blew over the stage rigging onto fans awaiting the start of a Sugarland concert Aug. 13. Several stagehands also were among the more than 40 other people injured.

Union attorney William Groth said he wanted a Marion County judge to hear arguments that the warrant should be served on the state fair as the employer of the stagehands.

"We get the sense and we get the feeling that Local 30 is being scapegoated by the state," Groth told WTHR-TV. "Local 30's members have suffered tremendously as a result of this Sugarland accident. We feel worse about this than just about anyone."

The state investigators were seeking numerous documents, including stagehand discipline, training and certification records, the station reported. Groth said the union would comply if ordered by a judge to turn over the records.

The investigation is in addition to two ongoing investigations by outside firms that state fair officials estimate will cost nearly $1 million by year's end. More than 50 tort claims—the precursor to possible lawsuits—have been filed with the state over the collapse.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}