A New Jersey packaging company, one of several defendants sued after a Rhode Island nightclub burned down five years ago, has agreed to pay $25 million to survivors and relatives of the 100 people killed. The settlement with Sealed Air Corp. is the latest in a series stemming from the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick. As previously reported, the fire started when pyrotechnics used by the rock band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing on the club’s walls.
This settlement brings to nearly $150 million the total amount of money offered to survivors and victims’ relatives. It also moves the case, which initially named dozens of people and companies as Defendants, closer to a resolution. Sealed Air made polyethylene foam that was installed in the club in 1996. The foam burned too easily and produced toxic gas. But Sealed Air took the position that the packaging material was misused as soundproofing, and that it was never determined the company even made the material in the club.
The foam at issue in this latest settlement is apparently different from the flammable polyurethane foam placed on the building’s walls by the club owners, who took over the club in 2000. Other Defendants that have reached settlements include Clear Channel Broadcasting, whose rock radio station promoted the show, Anheuser-Busch Inc., The Home Depot Inc., and a pyrotechnics manufacturer. Several other foam companies agreed in May to pay $30 million to settle. The settlements are all subject to court approval by a judge. The families must also agree. The Defendants that remain include the State of Rhode Island; the local fire inspector who failed to cite the club for foam, and American Foam Corp.
Source: Insurance Journal
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