A federal judge has given final approval to settlements earmarked for more than 300 victims of the 2003 Station nightclub fire. The judge called reaching that stage a “red-letter day.” The mechanism by which payments will be made was also approved. The action taken by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux makes it likely now that the victims of the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history will be paid from a $176-million settlement fund in a matter of months. But much remains to be done before payments are actually made.
Probate judges have to approve the settlements in the 100 cases of those who died in the fire and for the minors who stand to get over $10,000. A special master – appointed by the court –made recommendations for allocation of the settlement funds. Those recommendations were approved by Judge Lagueux. The settlement money is being paid by 65 Defendants. The judge also approved co-trustees of a trust from which disbursements will be paid. Considering the number of Claimants and the number of Defendants, this appears to be a good settlement.
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