R.I. Nightclub Owners Submit List of Assets After Filing for Bankruptcy

October 23, 2005

The owners of a West Warwick, Rhode Island nightclub where a fire killed 100 people submitted a list of their assets in a Providence court last week, providing a detailed view of their finances a month after filing for bankruptcy.

Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, owners of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, sought Chapter 7 protection in late September, estimating their debts as greater than $100 million and saying they were no longer able to pay their creditors.

The Derderians followed up their initial bankruptcy filing by offering a more comprehensive inventory of their personal goods and assorted household items.

In the documents, Michael Derderian lists a home in Narragansett valued at $375,000 and roughly $73,000 in personal property including bank accounts, a watch, a wedding band and a Chrysler Town and Country minivan.

Jeffrey Derderian lists a $284,000 Cranston home and nearly $51,000 in personal property. On a list of property claimed as exempt, he includes a pension, a 2001 Honda Civic LX, a digital camera and video camera, compact discs, a $1,500 antique dining room set and other belongings.

Michael Derderian’s home is subject to a $365,000 mortgage for which he is not contractually liable, the filings show, while there is a secured claim of almost $202,445 on Jeffrey Derderian’s Cranston home.

Michael Derderian lists his total liabilities as just under $88,541, while his brother says his liabilities are almost $361,451.

The Feb. 20, 2003, fire was triggered by pyrotechnics set off during a performance by the rock band Great White. Eight people who died either lived or worked in Connecticut. More than 200 people were injured.

The bankruptcy filing last month stayed a civil contempt hearing in Workers’ Compensation Court, which was scheduled to address the Derderians’ failure to make complete payments to the families of four nightclub employees killed in the fire.

The Derderians said last month that they had begun making payments to those families and would continue to do so.

Jeffrey Derderian, who was working as a television reporter for WPRI-TV at the time of the fire, lists his current occupation as business development and his employer as Lang Naturals, which has a Middletown address.

The Derderians and former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele each face 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal case resulting from the fire. All three men have pleaded innocent.

The Derderians have also been sued in federal court by the survivors of the fire and relatives of the victims.

The civil claims against them have been temporarily stayed as has the workers’ compensation case, the court filings show.

“The bottom line, it’s obvious that the Derderians couldn’t possibly be able to pay the potential exposure that could result if the civil litigation were to have gone forward,” said the brothers’ bankruptcy lawyer, Christopher Lefebvre.

The new documents list more than 500 creditors with tort, personal injury, wrongful death, breach of contract and other claims against each of the Derderians. The filings say the amount of each creditor’s claim is unknown.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection usually leads to the liquidation of assets so debts can be cleared.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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