Kensington & ChelseaNews

Council lodges claim against cladding maker for Grenfell Tower fatal fire

By Julia Gregory, local democracy reporter

Kensington and Chelsea council has lodged a personal injury claim against two companies involved in the Grenfell Tower fatal fire.

The council owned the 24 storey residential tower block in north Kensington in which 72 people died in June 2017.

The personal injury claim was filed at the High Court against cladding manufacturers Arconic Architectural Products SAS and Whirlpool company Polska Spółka z Ograniczoną Odpowiedzialnością. It was initiated by the council and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation which looked after the building for the council.

The claim was lodged on December 17 to meet time limits on legal action against foreign companies.

Grenfell Tower

It means the council and TMO could claim compensation against the two companies if its legal claim succeeds and it faces any civil claims itself.

A Whirlpool spokesman said:“It would not be appropriate for us to comment on legal proceedings while they, and the UK public inquiry, which we continue to support, are ongoing.”

Arconic said it could not comment on legal proceedings either.

The court papers were filed a few days before people who were bereaved or survived the fire and neighbours who were evacuated from nearby homes filed a case against 23 defendants including the council, the TMO, Arconic and Whirlpool.

The claims are for “personal injury and and other loss and damage” following the fatal fire.

The claim alleges “The defendants’ failings separately and cumulatively led to or contributed to the disaster, including the failings of their employees or agents for which they are vicariously liable.”

Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said in the Grenfell Inquiry report: “the evidence viewed as a whole leaves me in no doubt that the fire originated in the large fridge-freezer”.

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