P.M. BRIEFING : DuPont Plaza Settles Fire Lawsuits

From Times wire services

The DuPont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has agreed to pay about $100 million to settle lawsuits stemming from the New Year's Eve 1986 fire that killed 97 people, newspapers reported today.

The Telegram of Bridgeport, Conn., and the Hartford Courant attributed the figure to unidentified sources. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis quoted James Fetterly, a Minneapolis lawyer for the hotel, as saying the settlement would be substantially less than the $200 million in settlements from the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas.

A former hotel maintenance worker pleaded guilty to setting the DuPont Plaza fire during a labor dispute at the 22-story hotel, which was packed with almost 1,000 tourists. More than 140 people were injured. About 2,300 plaintiffs sued for a total of $1.8 billion.

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