Indiana offers $300K to stage collapse victims

By TOM LoBIANCO | December 6, 2011 | 5:05 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is offering $300,000 to each family of the seven people killed when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair this summer, and more if their loved ones were hospitalized before they died.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced the offers Tuesday. He says the remaining money from the state's $5 million tort fund will be distributed among the 58 people injured Aug. 13 when powerful winds toppled the stage onto fans waiting to see country music group Sugarland.

Victims' attorneys scoffed at the amounts but acknowledged that Zoeller's hands were tied. Zoeller says lawmakers should re-examine the law that caps the state's liability at $5 million.

If families and victims accept the offers, they wouldn't be allowed to sue the state. Some have already filed lawsuits challenging the liability cap.