Survivors & relatives of victims of Grenfell Tower fire launch lawsuit in US against cladding & insulation makers

Author: Benjamin Mueller, New York Times (USA), Published on: 13 June 2019

"Survivors of London's Grenfell Fire Sue in Philadelphia Court", 11 Jun 2019

Hundreds of survivors and relatives of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London have sued makers of the flammable cladding and insulation that fed the blaze in an American court, trying despite steep legal obstacles to hold the firms liable...

The Grenfell lawsuit, launched in Pennsylvania because the cladding maker, Arconic, has its headquarters there...

In addition to Arconic, the Pittsburgh-based firm that made the cladding, the lawsuit targets Celotex, a British company that made the insulation, and Whirlpool, a Michigan-based firm that now owns the company that made the refrigerator. Celotex has its American headquarters in Pennsylvania, the lawsuit says.

The companies are allowed to challenge the suitability of a Philadelphia court for the lawsuit, and legal experts said they would have strong arguments: The plaintiffs are British, the physical evidence is in London and British courts could offer alternative venues for the claims...

The lawsuit accuses the companies’ American arms of exploiting lax English rules to sell products they knew were not fit for high-rises or, in some cases, manipulating test results to hide concerns about flammability...

 

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