PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A Workers' Compensation Court judge, trying to find out why a penalty levied in the wake of the Station nightclub fire has yet to be paid, met with attorneys for club's former owners and lawyers for the Department of Labor and Training Monday.
Workers' Compensation Court Judge George E. Healy, Jr. called the meeting to determine why no action has been taken against former Station nightclub owners, Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, and their company, DERCO, LLC, on a penalty assessed more than eight-and-a-half years ago.
One hundred people, including four club employees, were killed Feb. 20, 2003 when the West Warwick club caught fire. Later that year, the Department of Labor fined the club owners and their company for failing to purchase workers' compensation insurance for their employees as required by law. In 2004, the state Workers' Compensation Court upheld the penalty.
Our news partners, The Providence Journal , inquired as to why the more-than $1 million penalty against the Derderians' company had not been enforced or vacated. The paper last week reported the penalty was appealed and put on hold several years ago.
"As you know, these matters have been pending before the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court for some time. While there has been much discussion recently about why this matter has languished, the goal for our meeting today was simply to ensure that the file was back on course for decision," Healy said in a statement.
- Timeline: Station Nightclub Fire
- Photos: 2003 Station Nightclub Fire
- In-Depth Coverage: Station Nightclub Fire
Healy said both sides will be given time to prepare briefs in the case and to prepare responses to any new arguments.
"Thus, this matter will be ready for submission to the Appellate Panel for decision no later than February 28, 2013. It is my hope that a decision will be released no later than April 1, 2013," Healy said. "While it is unfortunate that circumstances conspired to delay this case, it is my sincere hope that at this point, the matter will soon be concluded in this forum."
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