Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Manufacturers Over Defective Products, Including Flammable Cladding, Linked to London’s Catastrophic Grenfell Tower Fire

Jun 11, 2019

Filed on behalf of 69 people who died and 177 injured in the June 14, 2017 inferno

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 11, 2019) –  A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against three American companies, including manufacturers of the defective, flammable exterior cladding panels and insulation, for their actions that resulted in the June 14, 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy, nationally recognized trial attorneys from Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., and DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, jointly announced at a news conference here today.

The 143-count wrongful death and products liability complaint (Estate of Gloria Trevisan, et al. vs. Arconic, Inc., et al., Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2019: 005311) demands a jury trial in Philadelphia County and seeks undetermined compensation, including punitive damages, on behalf of the 247 plaintiffs. Sixty-nine of them were among the 72 killed as a result of the fire, and the others sustained life-altering injuries. All of the defendants are incorporated and headquartered in America. Two of the three have their principal place of business in Pennsylvania. The defendants are:

• Arconic, Inc. (and two related corporations), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (product: Reynobond Polyethylene Cladding (PE) panels)

• Celotex Corporation, Malvern, Pennsylvania (product: Celotex Insulation)

• Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Michigan  (product: Hotpoint brand fridge-freezer)

Robert J. Mongeluzzi, of SMBB, stated, “We are honored and humbled to represent our clients in their quest for justice.  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.”

Mark A. DiCello, of DiCello Levitt, stated, “As we allege in our Complaint, this type of cladding is banned from use on residential structures higher than 40 feet in the United States, because it is highly flammable. The Grenfell Tower was more than 200 feet tall.  Tragically, Arconic waited to make the decision to stop selling this dangerous product until after this horrific tragedy.  They designed and marketed a lethal product and reaped the profits while the victims paid the price.”

Jeffrey P. Goodman, partner at SMBB, added, “The Arconic cladding and Celotex insulation was highly flammable and its combustible nature transformed a controllable blaze into a deadly inferno.  The cladding and insulation were the fuel that allowed the fire to ravage Grenfell Tower and kill 72 innocent victims. These men, women and children deserved a safe place to live and these American corporations robbed them of that fundamental right.  The families of Grenfell rightly look to the American courts to hold U.S. corporations accountable and to help prevent tragedies like this in the future.”

Nicholas Burton, among the plaintiffs, whose wife Maria del Pilar Burton, 72, died in January 2018 as an ultimate result of injuries resulting from the fire, added, “These American companies knew of the dangers with their products, yet elected to supply them anyway and expose us and our loved ones to this fire.  This lawsuit is about holding them accountable and the most effective way to do that is by suing them where they are based – in the United States. This is a wakeup call for all major corporations who behave as if they are above the law and refuse to face up to the damage they cause or change their ways, even after horrific disasters like the Grenfell Tower fire.”

Marcio Gomes, another Grenfell plaintiff, escaped the burning building with his pregnant wife, Andreia Perestrolo, and their two daughters. Several hours later he learned from doctors, who placed Andreia in a life-saving induced coma, delivered Logan, the baby. He was stillborn, and is the youngest of the 72 Grenfell fatalities.   Mr. Gomes stated, “I lived very happily with my wife and two young daughters on the 21st floor of the 23-floor Tower. The fire took everything from us. My wife was 7-months pregnant when the smoke and cyanide killed our son before he was born into this world. Nothing can repair our deepest feelings of hurt and heartbreak. It was all completely avoidable. It should never have happened. It should never happen again to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Corporations must be held to account for each and every person who died or was injured; from our son, the youngest person to lose his life, to the grandparents who died protecting the ones they loved. We will never forget. We will not let them down. We will see justice for all at Grenfell.”

View a copy of the complaint.

For more information on SMBB visit www.smbb.com, and for DiCello Levitt, go to www.dicellolevitt.com

Robert J. Mongeluzzi/rmongeluzzi@smbb.com
Jeffrey P. Goodman / jgoodman@smbb.com / (215) 575-2970
Mark A. DiCello / madicello@dicellolevitt.com
Steph Rosenfeld (For SMBB) / steph@idadvisors.com
Jason Milch (For DiCello Levitt) / jmilch@baretzbrunelle.com

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