Packaging provider Sealed Air Corp. has agreed in principle to pay $25 million to victims and their families to resolve a lawsuit stemming from a 2003 fire at a nightclub in Providence, R.I., in which 100 people died and more than 200 were injured.
The Elmwood Park, N.J.-based firm said in papers filed June 13 in U.S. District Court in Providence that the settlement is subject to conditions, including approval of all plaintiffs, the court and an allocation plan being developed by a court consultant.
Sealed Air said in an e-mail statement: ``Our hearts go out to the families affected by this terrible tragedy. In order to reach a resolution, we have agreed to a settlement in principle and our insurance carriers have agreed to fully fund the settlement. Though Sealed Air was not responsible for the fire, we believe that this result is in the best interest of all concerned.''
The Feb. 20, 2003, fire at The Station nightclub started when sparks from pyrotechnics at the beginning of a show by the band called Great White ignited foam that was used as soundproofing.
In May, the Providence Journal reported several polyurethane foam manufacturers offered a $30 million settlement under a similar tentative agreement. Listed in the court agreement were Foamex International Inc. of Linwood, Pa., and General Foam, a company Foamex acquired in 2001; Leggett & Platt Inc. of Carthage, Mo.; FFNC Inc. of High Point, N.C.; and William T. Burnett & Co. Inc. of Jessup, Md.
The victims' lawsuit alleged Sealed Air manufactured the polyethylene foam that was underneath PU foam being used incorrectly as soundproofing.
Sealed Air's PE foam is designed for packaging.