Lawsuit filed in US over deadly London high rise fire

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By Agence France-Presse

A civil lawsuit has been filed in the US over the Grenfell Tower fire in London two years ago that claimed 71 lives, an attorney said Tuesday.

Robert Mongeluzzi of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky tweeted that the firm “has filed a lawsuit in (Philadelphia’s) Common Pleas Court over the deadly 2017 fire.”

The 24-story housing block was consumed by flames in the early hours of June 14, 2017, with residents of neighboring blocks looking on helplessly as dozens of people remained trapped inside.

The fire is believed to have broken out because of a faulty refrigerator in the kitchen of a fourth-floor apartment. The building’s exterior cladding has been blamed for the rapid spread of the flames.

The law firm is representing more than 200 British plaintiffs — survivors and relatives of people killed in the fire — and is suing three US companies that made the refrigerator or the building’s cladding.

They include Whirlpool, the manufacturer of the fridge; Arconic Inc., which according to the suit designed and manufactured the cladding; and Celotex Corporation, which the suit names as the manufacturer of insulation used in the cladding.

The suit alleges that Celotex knew the cladding was not fit for use in high rises but provided it for Grenfell Tower anyway.

“As a result of this tragedy, plaintiffs bring this action seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the United States based corporations whose defective products caused this tragedy,” the nearly 600-page complaint contends.

The suit does not state how much money is being sought.

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