Report: GREAT WHITE Nightclub Fire Civil Cases To Be Heard In Federal Court

The Associated Press reports: "A federal judge ruled Monday that civil suits stemming from The Station nightclub fire will be heard in federal court.

"U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux said the court will exercise jurisdiction under a federal law that gives the federal court system authority in cases involving an accident in which at least 75 people died and a defendant resides in a different state than where the accident occurred.

"Lagueux's decision also indicated the court intends to consolidate all nightclub fire lawsuits for the discovery phase of the trial, in which lawyers for both sides exchange information. One lawyer involved in the litigation said because of the complexity of the cases, they are unlikely to remain consolidated for trial.

"At least four suits have already been filed in the courts in Rhode Island, and others have been filed in Connecticut and Massachusetts. All have been on hold while Lagueux considered the issue of jurisdiction. More suits are expected.

"In the past, Lagueux has indicated he probably will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to review his decision."


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