Jun 12, 2019

Grenfell Tower fire: U.S. firms sued over deadly London inferno

Local residents watch as Grenfell Tower is engulfed by fire on June 14, 2017 in west London.

The Grenfell Tower fire in London on June 14, 2017. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Defective products made by 3 U.S. firms fueled London's Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 people died, a lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday alleges.

Details: The suit names as defendants Whirlpool Corp., which makes the Hotpoint refrigerator that investigators determined caused the fire, insulation manufacturer Celotex Corp. and cladding fabricator Arconic Inc. over the June 14, 2017, tragedy.

The highly flammable cladding turned Grenfell Tower into a flaming coffin."
— Lawsuit allegation

The big picture: The suit, filed by Philadelphia attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi on behalf of survivors and the families of those killed in the fire, doesn't seek specific monetary damages. A jury would determine what penalty, if any, the defendants would pay, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

What they're saying: An Arconic spokesperson told the Inquirer the firm would "respond to this litigation in court." Celotex told the BBC it's "considering its position" following the suit. A Whirlpool spokesperson said it's assisting with the inquiry but it's "inappropriate to comment further," according to the Independent.

  • The Whirlpool spokesperson added that 2 separate investigations verified by the U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser "independently found no evidence of any fault with this model and confirmed that it fully complied with all safety requirements."

Go deeper: 600 buildings across England at similar risk to Grenfell

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