As discussed in the previous post, a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman killed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse by her same-sex partner may not be valid in Indiana. The case will test how civil unions, domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages may fare in other states in wrongful death lawsuits.
Legal benefits that same-sex partners enjoy now that gay marriage is legal in New York may not be recognized in other states where gay marriage is not legal, and this case is one example of the difficulty same-sex partners can face in being recognized as legal partners and receiving the benefits of legally married people in other states. Every state has its own definition of what a marriage is and in Indiana it is a union between a male and a female.
The women had entered into a civil union in Illinois as soon as it became legal in that state in June. They crossed the border for the Indiana State Fair in August to attend a Sugarland concert.
Fair officials were about to evacuate audience members due to high winds and a sudden storm building but, before they evacuated the audience, the stage fell down on top of audience members. Several people were killed. The 24-year-old woman who filed the lawsuit was seriously injured and is still working through her injuries and grief.
Source: msnbc.com, “Fair disaster suit could test civil-union benefits,” Sept. 27, 2011