PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This week marks the two-year anniversary of a massive apartment fire in London that killed 72 people in the Grenfell Tower. On Tuesday, a Philadelphia-based lawyer announced a lawsuit against two Pennsylvania companies for their alleged role in the deadly inferno.
Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney, and his team of lawyers are going after the U.S. companies whose products they say are responsible for the spread of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
“This case is filed in America to hold the American corporations responsible for the devastation and tragedy that they caused,” attorney Jeffrey Goodman said.
Images from the devastating fire from June 14, 2017, of the burning high-rise are etched into the memories of people around the world.
Seventy-two people were killed and hundreds more were injured.
Attorneys say faulty equipment and flammable materials helped to rapidly consume the 24-story building.
The product liability lawsuit names Whirlpool, the maker of the refrigerator where the fire started, along with Pittsburgh-based cladding manufacturer Arconic, Inc. and insulation maker Celotex, whose corporate headquarters are in Malvern, as defendants.
“Once the fire reached the insulation that was manufactured by Celotex and the cladding that was manufactured by Arconic, it raced uncontrollably throughout the building due to their flammable nature,” Goodman said. “It turned the Grenfell Tower into a cylinder of fire, which entrapped the victims and killed 72.”
The plaintiffs’ attorneys say that both combustible and flammable products have since been pulled from the market.
“While the flames began in a flat in Grenfell Tower in London, the spark for this fire, this inferno, occurred in Pennsylvania,” Mongeluzzi said.
The attorneys are representing 69 of the 72 victims killed in the fire and 177 survivors who they say have sustained life-altering injuries.
CBS3 reached out to Celotex, but have not heard back at this time.
Arconic said, “We express our deepest sympathy to all those affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire and remain committed to supporting the public inquiry and investigations by the authorities in the U.K. We will respond to this litigation in court.”
The victims’ attorneys will be seeking punitive and compensatory damages.
They’re not allowed to ask for a specific amount in Pennsylvania. That will be left up to a jury to decide.