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Night Club Fire

Providence, RI: (May-14-08) A lawsuit was brought against foam manufacturers, including Carthage, MO, based Leggett & Platt Inc., Baltimore-based Wm. T. Burnett & Co., and several others, by survivors and family members, in relation to the 2003 nightclub fire that killed 100 people. Investigators stated that there was flammable, polyurethane foam on the walls and ceiling of the club for fueling the blaze, which swiftly engulfed the one-story building in flames and dense, toxic smoke.

Records of the incident show that the fire began when a pyrotechnics display for the 1980s rock band Great White ignited foam placed around the stage for soundproofing. The suit claimed that the foam was sold without any flame-retardant chemicals. It said that when ignited, the foam produced dangerous toxic smoke and gases. Experts said polyurethane foam was well-known throughout the industry as being flammable and not safe in places such as hotels and nightclubs. The foam companies were accused of selling and distributing their product to American Foam, which was then sold to club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian.

As part of a settlement reached, the foam manufacturers agreed to pay $30 million to resolve claims. Sources stated that over $100 million has now been offered to victims of the Feb. 20, 2003, fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick from various companies, making it the fourth-deadliest nightclub blaze in US history. [INSURANCE JOURNAL: FOAM COMPANIES AGREE TO $30M SETTLEMENT R.I. NIGHTCLUB FIRE]

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Last updated on May-16-08

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