Lawsuit Dismissed in Concert Tragedy

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – A federal judge dismissed with leave to amend a $2 million claim against country band Sugarland, stemming from a stage collapse in a windstorm that killed seven people and injured dozens.
     After a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Aug. 11, 2011, Steven Cohen Productions sued the band for $1,919,716.28 in equipment damages.
     U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro on Friday dismissed the claim against Lucky Star dba Sugarland, due to subject-matter jurisdiction.
     Steven Cohen Productions provided lighting, video, equipment and services for the show. It accused Sugarland of breach of contract for not reimbursing it.
     Steven Cohen Productions was insured by St. Paul Fire & Marine, which paid the claim in full, Navarro wrote.
     Steven Cohen Productions then demanded payment for damages from Sugarland, which is insured by Fireman’s Fund.
     Fireman’s Fund claimed in federal court in Tennessee that it had no obligation to pay Steven Cohen Productions until the production company used up its St. Paul Fire & Marine policy.
     In the Tennessee action, each insurer claimed the other had the primary obligation to pay the production company’s claim. Steven Cohen Productions sued Sugarland for payment in November 2012.
     Sugarland sought dismissal, saying Steven Cohen Productions did not join St. Paul Fire & Marine as a party in the lawsuit and the amount in question does not meet the amount for a federal complaint.
     The amount now in question is only $7,500, and the time has passed for Steven Cohen Productions to join St. Paul Fire & Marine in the matter, Navarro ruled.
     She found that the production company’s “response appears to concede that the amount in controversy is not met” and that Sugarland is correct that the federal court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction.
     Navarro dismissed the complaint without prejudice and gave Steven Cohen Productions until June 26 to file an amended complaint. If it does not, Navarro will dismiss the claim with prejudice.
     Steven Cohen Productions and Sugarland were not immediately available for comment Monday.

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