Ringling Wants to Settle
The Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey combined shows has offered “immediate” payment of $690,612 in settlement of all unpaid claims arising out of the circus fire which took 168 lives and injured hundreds, in Hartford, in 1944.
The offer, made in August by circus representatives to lawyers representing claimants, was conditioned on the forgiveness of interest accruals, and upon acceptance by the claimants. A later meeting was scheduled for lawyers and claimants to discuss the offer.
The circus has been paying off the $3,946,355 claims in periodic installments, plus 4 per cent interest on the unpaid balance. Acceptance of the offer would mean loss of over $27,000 annual interest to claimants, but would also mean they would not have to wait another three years for final settlement.