Posted 13th June

Grenfell survivors suing Whirlpool over ‘defective product’

13th June 2019 - 12:00pm
kitchen, whirlpool corporation, lawsuit, us, grenfell, tower, fire, hotpoint, fridge-freezer, lawyer, attorney, Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, kbb, kbbdaily, manufacturer

A wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of 69 people who died and 177 who were injured in the Grenfell tower blaze on the 14th June 2017 has been filed against three US companies, including Whirlpool Corporation as the manufacturer of the Hotpoint fridge-freezer believed to have started the fire.

Trial attorneys from Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky – SMBB – PC and DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC jointly announced the lawsuit at a press conference in Philadelphia earlier this week. The 143-count wrongful death and products liability complaint has demanded a jury trial in Philadelphia County.

Lawyers from the two US firms have said the lawsuit seeks “undetermined compensation, including punitive damages, on behalf of the 247 plaintiffs”, 69 of whom were among the 72 people killed in the blaze, with the remainder sustaining “life-changing injuries”.

Alongside Whirlpool Corporation, Arconic – which supplied the cladding panels used on the outside of the Grenfell tower block – and Celotex Corporation – which made the insulation used in the cladding – are facing 143 counts of wrongful death and products liability.

“We are honoured and humbled to represent our clients in their quest for justice,” said SMBB founder Robert Mongeluzzi. “While the flames erupted in a flat in London, this fire originated and spread because of decisions made in the United States by United States corporates that prioritized profits over safety.

“We seek to hold these American companies accountable on their home turf to send a message that conduct like this will not be tolerated anywhere in the world,” Mongeluzzi added.

Whirlpool responds
“We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy and we honour the extraordinary courage and dignity of the survivors and those who have lost loved-ones," Whirlpool said in a statement.

“Everyone touched by this event deserves answers, and it is entirely appropriate that the public inquiry is entrusted with finding those answers. We are committed to assisting the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in any way we can as it continues to investigate all the potential origins and causes of the fire and how it spread. While the inquiry is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

The company added: “Separately, we would like to reassure owners of these products that they are safe and they can continue to use them as normal. Nothing matters more to us than people’s safety. That’s why as soon as we were made aware of this incident, we launched an investigation into the model of fridge freezer that was in the flat where the fire began.

“Two separate investigations have been carried out – one by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and another by Whirlpool. Both investigations independently found no evidence of any fault with this model and confirmed that it fully complied with all safety requirements. These conclusions have also been verified by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.”

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