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Indiana State Fair Temporary Canopy Structure Collapse

On August 13, 2011, just before the headline act at the Indiana State Fair Grandstand Stage, a sudden wind gust from an approaching storm caused the temporary canopy structure over the main stage to collapse, killing seven and injuring 58 others.

RRJ was retained on behalf of the sound stage production company’s legal counsel to investigate the cause of the collapse. RRJ’s assignment involved detailed examination of the wreckage; review of storm weather data; structural analysis of the stage canopy structure; testing of the tie-back components used to provide lateral stability; and review of documents defining policies, authority, procedures, and protocols that were to have been used if evacuation was required. Deficiencies were found in many areas, which combined, resulted in the tragedy.

RRJ’s assigned tasks included a study of witness testimony, contract documents, and correspondence between the numerous parties involved with the show’s production to determine what could be learned from the events on that day leading up to the collapse.

A timeline of the day’s events and causation issues were well documented by RRJ and others.

Project Details

Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Client Confidential
Team Kurt Hoigard, Robert Kritzler, Brian Lammert
Markets Forensics & Litigation Support, Public, Recreational
Services Litigation Consulting, Investigation, Structural Engineering Services

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