Jun 12, 2019

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

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

Go deeper

America's food heroes

Photos: Charlie Riedel/AP (L); Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed after a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,407,123— Total deaths: 81,103 — Total recoveries: 297,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 386,800 — Total deaths: 12,285 — Total recoveries: 20,191Map.
  3. Trump admin latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. World update: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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