Great White offers US$1 million settlement over Station nightclub fire

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Location of Rhode Island within the United States

United States hard rock band Great White has filed a settlement offer of US$1 million to families of victims of the Station nightclub fire. 100 people died including band guitarist Ty Longley and over 200 were injured in the February 2003 disaster in Rhode Island.

The fire started when band manager Daniel Bichele ignited pyrotechnics towards the beginning of a concert by Great White at the club. Cheap packing foam had been used as soundproofing material to surround the stage, and this ignited. Great White were never charged, but Bichele was given a 15-year sentence with 11 of those suspended in 2006 for 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter, to which he pleaded guilty. He was paroled in March this year.

The settlement offer would need to be approved by each of the over 300 plaintiffs, as well as the federal judge. It would add to $175 million already offered by dozens of defendants in the case. No money has been handed out to any of the claimants as yet, and a law professor from Duke University has been hired to develop a formula that will determine how much each party is entitled to.

The fire was the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in US history.