PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Brewer Anheuser-Busch Inc. and a Rhode Island beer distributor have agreed to pay $21 million to settle lawsuits brought by survivors of a 2003 nightclub fire and relatives of the 100 people killed, according to court papers filed Friday.
The February 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick began when pyrotechnics used by the rock band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the club's walls and ceiling. More than 200 people were injured.
Anheuser-Busch is the latest big-name defendant to settle the case rather than bear the costs of continuing litigation or risk the uncertainty of a jury trial.
The St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch and its Cranston-based distributor, McLaughlin & Moran, did not admit wrongdoing.
Under terms of the settlement, Anheuser-Busch will pay $5 million and McLaughlin & Moran will pay $16 million.