London Grenfell fire disaster corporations sued

This 22 May 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

Grenfell Tower insulationnever passed safety tests‘, report finds

“If we don’t make the victims and survivors the very core of what we do then we’ve betrayed the 72 who died” says Professor Chris Imafidon as a report reveals Grenfell Tower insulations never passed safety tests.

From the BBC in Britain today:

Grenfell survivors and relatives open US legal battle

By Victoria Derbyshire & Jim Reed, BBC News

Dozens of Grenfell survivors and relatives are taking legal action in the US against three firms they blame for the fire, the BBC has been told.

The lawsuit will target the cladding maker Arconic, insulation maker Celotex and fridge supplier Whirlpool.

A successful action in the US could cost the firms involved tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Two of the three firms said they would not comment on the case while official investigations into the fire continued.

Philadephia lawsuit

Whirlpool and Arconic have both provided responses to the Victoria Derbyshire programme but Celotex has not yet commented.

The Grenfell fire in June 2017 claimed the lives of 72 people and another 70 were injured.

The first phase of the public inquiry into the disaster heard expert evidence that a small kitchen fire broke out through a uPVC window fitting and ignited material attached to the building.

The new exterior cladding and insulation was installed in 2016 as part of a £10m refit of the tower.

US lawyers representing Grenfell survivors and victims’ relatives are expected to file the lawsuit this week in Philadelphia under product liability law, which is meant to hold firms responsible for injuries caused by the goods they sell.

The state of Pennsylvania was reportedly chosen as the legal jurisdiction for the suit because both Arconic, which supplied the combustible ACM panels, and Celotex, which manufactured the insulation, have their US headquarters there. …

A claim is also being brought against another US corporation, Whirlpool, which made the fridge-freezer in flat 16, which the public inquiry was told was the likely cause of the fire. …

Lawyers believe the disaster could not have taken place in the US because of … a ban on the use of similar cladding on high-rise residential buildings. …

Unlike in the UK, any case would be heard by a jury and could lead to much larger financial awards for both compensation and punitive damages.

The BBC understands lawyers believe it is impossible to estimate the size of any future award but have indicated that, in 2013, a similar lawsuit related to a building collapse that killed seven people, settled for $227m (£178m).

Before any case can reach trial, it is believed to be extremely likely all three companies named in the suit will argue it should not be heard in the US because the fire happened in the UK. …

Trial ‘within two years’

The cladding system installed in the tower in 2016 was made up of multiple elements. The thin, outer aluminium panel was made by US metals giant Arconic. …

Earlier this year, the $15bn (£12bn) sale of Arconic to a US private equity firm broke down. A key issue was said to be the size of any possible financial liabilities linked to the disaster.

In May 2018, a BBC investigation claimed the insulation used, manufactured by Celotex, had not passed required safety tests.

The BBC’s Panorama programme was told that the way Celotex tested and sold the product could amount to corporate manslaughter.

The company, owned by French material giant Saint-Gobain, said at the time it could not identify any evidence to support Panorama’s allegations. …

Under US state law, the legal process is expected to take several years. Lawyers say an initial judgement on whether the case can proceed is likely within six months, with a full trial possible approximately 18 months later in a US courtroom.

3 thoughts on “London Grenfell fire disaster corporations sued

  1. Pingback: London Grenfell fire disaster, Conservatives learned nothing | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Whirlpool tumble dryers are fire hazards | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British Conservatives, guilty of London Grenfell disaster | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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