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Great White Station Fire Update: Nightclub Owner's Bankruptcy Petition Finalized

By Newsferatu, Writer
Sunday, August 20, 2006 @ 10:52 PM


Brothers May Escape Civil Clai

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From Projo.com:

The deadline for challenging a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed by Jeffrey and Michael Derderian has passed, clearing the way for the federal court to shield the brothers from civil claims filed in The Station fire case. But those civil suits filed by victims of the fire name nearly 50 defendants besides the Derderians. Besides the Derderians, the suits name foam manufacturers, a radio station and a beer company.

The state Department of Labor and Training's $1 million fine against the Derderians for not carrying workers' compensation insurance coverage is not affected by the bankruptcy. The brothers own The Station nightclub in West Warwick, which burned to the ground in February 2003, killing 100 people. The brothers are each facing 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Michael Derderian's trial is slated to begin September 5. The Derderians released a statement (August 16th), indicating that they intend to continue to make voluntary monthly payments to some employees' families who died in the fire.

"While we are deeply aware that no amount of money could ever provide solace to those affected, we remain fully committed to doing all we can to assist those affected by this tragedy for as long as we are able to do so," reads the Derderians' statement.

The Labor Department fined the Derderians and Derco LLC $1.06 million for failure to purchase the mandatory workers' compensation insurance coverage for the nightclub. The bankruptcy petition, expected to go through later this week, would wipe out the more than $200,000 in workers' compensation benefits that state labor officials last year ordered the Derderians to pay to the families of the nightclub employees killed in the fire. In lieu of those benefits, the Derderians have been sending the employees' families monthly checks - $125 for those without children and $500 for those with children - since April 2005, lawyers said.


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