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Good news for Great White

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Two lawyers representing, between them, over 60 of the plaintiffs taking legal action following that Rhode Island club fire, have dropped the Great White (the band playing on the night) off his list of targets. The decision comes partly because of the concerns of the plaintiffs themselves (some of whom are friends of the band) but also because the band aren’t that rich and therefore not particularly good targets for compensation payments. One of the lawyers – Brian Cunha – told reporters: “They have no assets, so it would be a Pyrrhic victory, part of any litigation has to be driven by practicality. I could probably get a judgment against them, but it would be worth nothing. Maybe it would be symbolic, but I’m not sure that’s what my clients need.”

But another lawyer – Ronald J. Rasmini – who is also representing some of those affected by the fire and who, as previously reported, has chosen to go the federal court route in taking action, is still targeting the band. He says: “Anyone who is responsible should be brought into this case. It would be a huge transgression not to include Great White. I don’t care if they’ve got five cents to contribute to this case. If they’re negligent, they should be in there.”

Great White attorney Ed McPherson, who announced at the end of the last week that the band will launch a benefit tour in June for victims’ families and survivors, said he was pleased by Cunha’s decision: “Rather than get on the bandwagon and sue everybody, I think everybody should try to get together and do whatever they can to raise money for the victims. Lawsuits may take a very long time to complete, and I gotta think the band is doing the right thing in saying, ‘Whether or not we’re sued, we’re gonna go out there and help these people.’ ”

However Jeffrey Pine, the lawyer representing the club owners who claim they weren’t informed by the band about the pyrotechnics that caused the fire wasn’t impressed that his clients were still being sued. He told reporters: “It would be unfair to blame the people who lit the fire, right? I just think it’s absurd not to sue the people who are directly responsible for the fire that caused the injuries and the deaths. I can’t imagine what legal strategy went into that decision.”

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About Marty Dodge

  • This has always been a tragic case. What this post shows is not, necessarily justice, but the far more prevelant Practical Justice.