Report: Nightclub Fire Victims File for Bankruptcy

A published report says at least a dozen victims and families of those killed in a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire have filed for bankruptcy protection while awaiting their shares of a $176 million settlement.

The Providence Journal reports its review of bankruptcy court records in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts shows some victims have lost their homes and vehicles, or were laid off after they recovered from their injuries and returned to work.

One hundred people died in the fire on Feb. 20, 2003, at The Station nightclub in West Warwick. It started when pyrotechnics used by the band Great White ignited soundproofing foam.

A federal magistrate judge last month approved a proposal to distribute the $176 million settlement among more than 300 people who sued over the fire. Lawyers have said.

In other developments related to the case, one of the lawyers for victims of the blaze says some medical insurers have agreed to waive liens related to medical bills the survivors incurred.

Attorney Mark Mandell briefed a federal magistrate Tuesday on the progress of lawsuits stemming from the fire. Mandell said Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Cigna have agreed to waive 100 percent of the liens.