Proposal For Splitting Money In Great White RI Club Fire Case


January 9, 2009

A law school professor on Friday submitted a plan for distributing $176 million in settlement money among the more than 300 people who sued after a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people.

The proposal from Francis McGovern, a court-appointed special master and Duke University law professor, awards the most points to those survivors who were the most severely injured and had the highest medical bills.

His point system also awards compensation to people who lost relatives in the blaze, with points varying based on a victim’s age, marital status, income and educational background. And it says any plaintiff who can provide proof of being at at The Station nightclub club when the fire broke out is eligible for a share of the settlement.

The Feb. 20, 2003, fire at the West Warwick club began when pyrotechnics used by the rock band Great White ignited soundproofing foam around the stage. Besides the 100 killed, more than 200 others were injured.

Eight of the victims lived or worked in Connecticut.

The victims reached settlements over the last year and a half with dozens of defendants, including brewer Anheuser-Busch, foam manufacturers, the owners of the club and members of the band.

It is not clear from what the point system what any one person would receive since no money has been distributed yet and the plan doesn’t provide dollar figures.

Courtesy of