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A small amount of relief might have come to those who survived and to the families of the victims of the horrible fire that destroyed The Station, a West Warwick, R.I., night club in 2003 with the settlement approved by a federal judge on January 7. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux called the settlement, stemming from the combined suits brought after the fire, a "win-win-win," for all involved.
The fire began when the band Great White ignited the pyrotechnics that were part of their performance. The flames caught the soundproof foam around the stage and more than 200 people were hurt by the fire and by the ensuing panicked rush to the exits. Defendants of the multiple suits after the tragedy included the . All agreed to settle for the combined amount of $176 million.
Part of the trust set up to hold the settlement funds will be distributed to the children of the victims of the fire, apportioned depending on factors such as the age of the child at the time of the fire and whether the parent was killed or injured. The judge has also approved the formulas to determine how the money will be divided among the survivors and the other relatives of those killed in the fire. Those with the worst injuries will received the largest amounts. Victims could start receiving money within a few months.
Both club owner Michael Derderian, who installed the flammable foam that caught fire and band's manager, Daniel Biechele, who set off the pyrotechnics without the necessary permits, served prison sentences. They have since been released.
The AP reports that a memorial service will be held for those who died on the seventh anniversary of the fire, next month.