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Grenfell Anniversary

By Phantom On June 14th, 2019

Two years ago, in the world city of London, 72 persons burned to death in the Grenfell blaze.

An unsafe cladding product. Reynobond PE, was used on the exterior of the building. It was £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for “fire resistant”. So for a few quid less, they went without the fire resistant product. The London fire brigade and buildings departments slept through the installation, as they slept through installation of the same grossly unsafe product in other residential buildings. ( Reynobond PE had been banned by name in NYC, in Germany and in other places. Not in light regulation Britain )

Two years later, about 60,000 British people live in buildings cladded by the identical highly combustible material. The British government, and the private and public entities that own the residential buildings that that still have the combustible material, are to be condemned.

The fire was in England, the materials used were made in Europe, so naturally the families are bringing a lawsuit in the US. This is of course an abuse of the legal system, but this lawsuit tourism is understandable. Liability will be found in any honest court, but there will be a jackpot of moolah in Philadelphia, there would be much less cheddar in any British verdict.

14 Responses to “Grenfell Anniversary”

  1. The fire was in England, the materials used were made in Europe, so naturally the families are bringing a lawsuit in the US.

    The manufacturer is a US company, based in the US. The Ghoulish lawyers think that’s where they need to chase more money (they’ve had plenty so far over here.) If the client specified Reynobond PE then the case ought to be slung out.

  2. If someone typing on a computer in London can be charged for offences in America despite never setting foot in America then I imagine responsibility for a fire in London can be litigated in America as well.

  3. It is entirely appropriate to bring the action where the defendants have their principal place of business under US Law and International Law. And it makes enforcing a judgment easier. The victims aren’t tourists. They are seeking justice against corporate predators who I assure you will be well represented.

  4. To be painfully technical, Arconic is headquartered in NYC.

    Philadelphia is known as a ” judicial hellhole ” ( bad place to be a defendant, lots of dumb jurors to pick from ) but I get the point.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arconic

    https://www.judicialhellholes.org/tag/philadelphia/

    The corporation should be slammed, but the London and or British government deserves to be slammed ten times harder. It is their job to regulate building safety, and they didn’t properly do it, the way that Germany and NYC did it, by banning this product.

  5. To be fair it is banned, not specifically by name, but by spec, on buildings like Grenfell. And was before the fire.

  6. It most certainly was not banned. The regulation was murky. Unclear regulation is no good.

    If this product was banned, it would not still be on buildings that 60,000 British people live in.

    And any proper ban would involve inspections as the work was done, by inspectors who would ” stop work ” if improper things were happening, none of this ” self certification ” bullshit.

  7. “It most certainly was not banned. The regulation was murky. Unclear regulation is no good.”

    The regulation isn’t murky. It is clear cut that the use of this material was illegal.

  8. “And any proper ban would involve inspections as the work was done, by inspectors who would ” stop work ” if improper things were happening, none of this ” self certification ” bullshit.”

    Absolutely. And any inquiry has to focus on why illegal material could be used without being caught by inspections. Most likely the cause is local government spending cuts over the last few years resulting in the councils cutting back on the a lot of inspections.

  9. It is clear cut that the use of this material was illegal.

    What is your source for that information.

    You are saying that this $14 billion corporation had factories in Europe that sold product in the open to UK builders and that the builders used it and the manufacturers sold it even though it was clearly illegal to use.

  10. I’d need to find the regulation. But, from memory, it is clear that any buildings over a certain number of metres must use flame retardant cladding. For smaller buildings more flammable cladding is allowed, but not tall buildings.

  11. On Sunday, British finance minister Philip Hammond said the type of panels used, which are cheaper than non-combustible panels, were banned for use in high rise buildings in Britain, as they are in Europe and the United States.

    Omnis said combustible Reynobond PE material was safe to use on high rise buildings if the insultation material usually put behind the panels was made of incombustible material such as mineral fibre. Some safety experts say the regulations are not black and white. The UK uses a ‘principles-based’ approach to regulation which puts an onus on companies to operate safely, based on common understanding of risks and the technology available.

    This differs to the highly specific ‘rules-based’ approach to regulation taken in the United States.

    Supporters of the principles-based approach say it avoids the emergence of loopholes and means companies have to take account of new information on risks immediately, rather than wait for a new regulation to be drafted.

    The finance minister said after the fact that it had been banned, but I don’t know if I’d believe him. The entire British approach here seems imprecise, murky, criticized by safety guys.

    If you want to ban something, ban it by name.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-fire-arconic/arconic-knowingly-supplied-flammable-panels-for-use-in-tower-emails-idUKKBN19F05C

  12. The problem with banning it by name is that you just create an identical or similar product with a different name. Banning by spec means you can’t do that.

  13. Phantom – changed jobs. Down on Broad Street now. Will send contact info for beer summit soon.

  14. Welcome to downtown Manhattan

    There’s a lot more going on down here than there was 10 or 20 years ago