GREAT WHITE Nightclub Fire: Station Plaintiffs Set To Hire Negotiator

Stephen Kurkjian of The Boston Globe reports:

Lawyers representing more than 300 people who lost loved ones or who were injured in the devastating fire that swept a Rhode Island nightclub nearly four years ago have agreed to hire a nationally recognized specialist in conflict resolution as a first step toward trying to settle dozens of civil lawsuits.

The suits have been filed against the owners of the nightclub and nearly 100 others whom the lawyers allege played a role in the tragedy.

A team of nine lawyers who represent most of the plaintiffs sent a letter Thursday to the federal judge in Providence who is hearing the case requesting approval of their motion to hire Francis E. McGovern, a professor at Duke University Law School as a special master.

According to a 2003 profile on the law school's website, McGovern helped organize the distribution of $2.4 billion compensating 100,000 women who had sued the maker of the Dalkon Shield contraceptive intrauterine device and helped forge solutions in cases involving DDT toxic exposure in Alabama. McGovern did not return phone calls yesterday.

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