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DEEP POCKETS FOR RHODE ISLAND FIRE?
By Chuck Wells

You remember the recent night club fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people? Well, the dust has barely settled and the lawyers are coming out of the wall trying to sue anyone they can find.

Boston Attorney James Harrington is whining that he can’t find any “deep pockets” to sue and victims may only receive $250,000. Ronald Resmini, a Providence lawyer representing two people injured, lamented that they will probably get “more tears than money.”

It appears that the town of West Warwick, because their building inspectors did not condemn the building as unsafe, may be on the hook for this. The town has only $4 million of insurance and there will be over $1 billion in claims.

However, some more enterprising attorneys are looking to sue Anheuser-Busch for sponsoring the event, the radio station that promoted the event, the band, the manufacturer of the pyrotechnics which started the fire, the manufacturer of the soundproofing material that caught fire, the architects of the building, and maybe God. Of course, any money paid out will be from insurance companies and that will be reflected in higher insurance premiums.

The lawyers say they are upset not because their cut of the proceeds will be so small, but “the only way you’ll find a deterrent to the behavior and mistakes that allowed this to happen is to find someone culpable.” It’s admirable that they want to just right the wrongs of the world without consideration for themselves.

ASBESTOS LAWSUITS TOO

While we are talking about lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court, said that anyone exposed to asbestos on the job can sue even if they do not yet have cancer and may never develop the disease. Justice Ruth Bader (can I pull my hair back tighter) Ginsburg said that just the exposure to asbestos “must necessarily have a most depressing effect upon the injured person.” In other words, if you get nervous or depressed about something, it is ok to sue even if you are not injured. Only in America.

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