Parent files lawsuit over Westfield High School stage collapse

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – A lawsuit has been filed against the Westfield Washington School Corporation after the theater stage at Westfield High School collapsed during the school’s spring concert.

One of the parents field the lawsuit on Thursday seeking damages for the student that was hurt during the collapse.

On April 23, 2015, seventeen students were injured while they were performing the musical “American Pie on the school auditorium stage when the orchestra pit collapsed under them.

The lawsuit states that police found that the stage was improperly constructed by an employee. The parent also claims that the school didn’t supervise the employee properly.

In November, the Indiana Department of Labor said they would drop the $11,700 in fines after finding that the school reinstalled a properly built and supported stage cover. The Indiana Department of Labor and Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration presented the fines in October. The Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration launched a formal investigation just days after the collapse.

The agencies had inspected the stage and said a new cover was installed without proper safety procedures and wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of students.

In May 2015, officials said they would not press any criminal charges after learning of the failed installation. Police said the incident was “catastrophic” but not worthy of criminal charges. No injuries during the stage collapse were life-threatening.

According to the lawsuit the school corporation has 20 days to respond. The parent has also requested a jury trial for the lawsuit.