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Controversy Swirls After Sugarland Deposition Released
Updated May 5, 2013 12:11 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(CHARLESTON, W.V.) - CNN Entertainment released on Monday a statement from Sugarland spokesman Allan Mayer after a portion of band member Jennifer Nettles' videotaped deposition was released to the public.

Depositions were held in West Virginia last week and attorneys were trying to find out why the concert wasn't delayed or canceled.

Don Asher, general manager for the Ken Allen Law firm that represents six of the victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse released the video deposition to the media on Monday.

Special Section: Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse

Attorneys questioned Nettles about what she knew and when in regards to the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

"Did you care enough to postpone the event?" Allen asked.

According to the video deposition, Nettles said she didn't know the bad weather was heading directly to the Indiana State Fairgrounds and said it was not her responsibility to delay or cancel the concert.

"Typically, we're invited to come into a place and play, it's not our place," Nettles said.

Later in the deposition, Allen asked if Nettles blamed her fans for sticking around until 8:45 p.m. and waiting for the band's show to start, instead of leaving.

"No, of course not," Nettles said.

Nettles said no one asked her to delay the show.

State Fair Director Cindy Hoye claimed Sugarland's managers refused requests to delay the concert. In a report released last week, Hoye was portrayed as first wanting to delay the concert, then giving in when Sugarland's manager insisted on playing.

Nettles said she only had a "general advisement" of the weather situation the night the stage collapsed.

"I don't recall that I was specifically aware of a severe thunderstorm. I just know it was advised there was weather or a storm," Nettles said.

Mayer said he didn't think releasing the video deposition to the public was necessary.

"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 (Bush) and Jennifer (Nettles') complete testimony,but also by the independent reports of the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the investigators hired by the state. When you think about it, you can't really blame these lawyers for attempting to try their case in the press, because if they tried to make these arguments in court, they'd quickly be tossed in the trash, which is where they belong," Mayer said.

CNN Entertainment reporters asked why Allen's firm chose to release the video to the media.

"In our opinion, the deposition tells a different story than the one being portrayed by Nettles' attorney's. 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," Asher said.

Allen's firm said it is considering releasing video of Bush's deposition soon.



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