Several foam-manufacturing companies have collectively
agreed to pay $30 million to settle lawsuits resulting from a 2003 Rhode Island
nightclub fire. The fire killed 100 people when a pyrotechnic display ignited
foam used for soundproofing. The flammable foam fueled the fire and caused it
to spread rapidly, trapping patrons inside the club. In all over $100 million
has been offered by several companies, including Home Depot, Clear Channel
Broadcasting and fireworks makers, to settle claims of survivors and the
families of those who perished in the fire.
It is still not clear exactly who manufactured the foam that
was used in the club. The American Foam Corp. supplied the foam to the owners
of the club, but the company used a handful of manufacturers for their
The club owners installed the foam after repeated complaints
from neighbors of noise from the club. They claim that they did not know the
foam was flammable and had never been cited by the fire inspector in repeated
The fire was the fourth-deadliest nightclub blaze in U.S.
history. Besides the 100 people killed, more than 200 others were injured.
The tour manager for the band playing the night of the blaze
served 22 months in prison after pleading guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter
for lighting the pyrotechnics. One of the former club owners is also serving a
four-year sentence after pleading no contest to the same charges.