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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Santiago's spouse among those included in settlement
by Matt Simonette
2014-12-19

This article shared 3950 times since Fri Dec 19, 2014
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The surviving partner of a prominent community activist is among those included in a settlement after a 2011 Indiana stage collapse, Indy Star reported Dec. 19.

Lawyers representing victims of an August 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair announced Dec. 19 that they had reached a settlement totaling nearly $50 million. Among the people killed in that accident were Christina Santiago, an activist who at the time was manager of programming for Howard Brown Health Center's ( HBHC ) Lesbian Community Care Project ( LCCP ). Her domestic partner, Alisha Marie Brennon, will receive compensation as Santiago's surviving spouse as well as for injuries she sustained. The couple were joined in a civil union shortly after the Illinois civil union law took effect in Summer 2011.

"We believe it is the first time a lesbian couple in a civil union has been treated like any other couple for the purposes of wrongful death recovery," said Bryan Bradley of the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, in a prepared statement. "We are proud to have overcome another hurdle in the struggle for equal treatment regardless of sexual preference."

Seven people were killed and 58 injured when the collapse occurred during a performance by the band Sugarland at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The Dec. 19 settlement resolves litigation against 19 companies; one other defendant, ESG Security, will go to trial in 2015. The total settlement also includes $11 million to be paid by the state of Indiana.

Santiago received HBHC's 2010 Spirit Award, its highest staff honor, and was an instrumental figure in the expansion of HBHC's women's health services division and a strong advocate for the LGBT women's community. She was also honored with a Windy City Times "30 under 30" award for her work as women's healthcare advocate in 2007.

Santiago was also active in Amigas Latinas as board programming chair and helped organize Dyke March Chicago.

Indy Star's article is at: http://indy.st/1x5RToY.


This article shared 3950 times since Fri Dec 19, 2014
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