Massive Lawsuit Filed Over GREAT WHITE Concert Tragedy

July 22, 2004

Tracy Breton of the Providence Journal is reporting that a 70-count civil lawsuit was filed this morning in Superior Court on behalf of 226 people who died, lost loved ones or were injured in The Station nightclub fire — by far the largest suit stemming from the worst blaze in the state's history.

The lawsuit names 46 defendants, including a Channel 12 cameraman who shot a video of the fast-moving fire and who is alleged to have blocked people from getting out of the club, and a West Warwick police officer who had a detail at the club that night and who, the plaintiffs allege, should have prevented the band from using pyrotechnics and clamped down on overcrowding.

Also named are two publicly-traded foam manufacturers, Leggett & Platt and Foamex International, and Lloyd's of London.

The 130-page suit was filed by a plaintiffs' steering committee of eight lawyers who said in a press release that they anticipated that the case would immediately be removed to the U.S. District Court by one or more defendants.

The defendants include the West Warwick nightclub's owners, Michael and Jeffrey Derderian; and the former tour manager for the rock band GREAT WHITE, Daniel Biechele, who, as part of the band's opening act on Feb. 20, 2003, set off pyrotechnics that ignited highly flammable soundproofing foam in the nightclub, leading to 100 deaths and more than 200 injuries. Read more.

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