On June 14, 2017, there was a massive fire in London’s Grenfell Tower. It resulted in 72 deaths, while hundreds of others suffered from debilitating injuries and deformities that they say will affect the rest of their lives. 247 London-based plaintiffs have lodged a lawsuit against three Philadelphia manufacturers whose products are banned by law in residential structures over 200 feet tall – in the United States.
The class action was put together by attorneys who work for Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky (SMBB) and DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC.
Robert J. Mongeluzzi commented, “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 corporations that prioritized profits over safety.”
Criticizing one of the defendant companies, Mark A. DeCello added, ” Tragically, Arconic waited to make the decision to stop selling this defective product until after this horrific tragedy. They designed and marketed a lethal product and reaped the profits while the victims paid the price.”
Arconic manufactured Reynobond Polyethylene Cladding panels used in Grenfell Tower. One of the other two, Celotex Corporation, manufactured Celotex insulation, and the third, Whirlpool Corporation, manufactured Hotpoint brand fridge-freezers. All of these products are highly flammable and allegedly contributed to the inferno that should have been easily controllable.
According to the class action wrongful death lawsuit, the three companies already knew about the dangers inherent in the materials used to manufacture the products, but decided to continue selling them anyway.
One of the victims was a premature and stillborn baby, Logan, whose parents and two sisters had escaped the inferno only hours before his birth. His mother, Andreai Perestrolo, was only seven months pregnant when she was forced to deliver. Perestrolo’s husband, Marcio Gomes, said, “My wife was seven 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.”
The class actions also seeks punitive damages, which are awarded only in cases during which the defendants are guilty of gross negligence and when a judge deems they should be punished with more than basic damages. The plaintiffs and their lawyers contend that they want to make a point to companies that still sell defective products when they know they shouldn’t.