Three firms which manufactured tower’s combustible cladding system among firms to pay an undisclosed sum to bereaved, survivors and residents
The three firms which manufactured the combustible cladding system installed on Grenfell tower have agreed a financial settlement with more than 900 people affected by the deadly blaze at the west London block.
Kingspan, Celotex and Arconic are among a group of companies and organisations which have all agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the group of bereaved, survivors and residents of the building following a civil claims case.
The group was represented by 14 firms which have said the settlement is “completely independent of, and has no impact on” the ongoing public inquiry into the deadly fire which killed 72 people in 2017, which is expected to publish its report this year.
The inquiry has found that the tower’s cladding system, installed during a flawed refurbishment, was the primary cause of the spread of flames up the sides of the 24-storey block.
The building envelope had been mostly composed of Celotex’s RS500 insulation panels faced with Arconic’s Reynobond PE, an ACM cladding panel, but a small amount of Kingspan’s Kooltherm K15 insulation was also found in the cladding system after the fire.
All three products were found by the inquiry to be combustible. It also emerged that Kingspan had been selling K15 for nearly 15 years based on a test report of a different product, that the fire test for Celotex’s RS500 had been rigged, and that Arconic had known for ten years before the fire that its Reynobond PE panels would burn.
The amount of compensation paid to the bereaved, survivors and residents will be shared out “according to their own specific circumstances,” lawyers for the group said.
Kingspan confirmed in a statement that it had been engaged in a process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for a large number of civil claims brought by the group, and had committed to a “restorative justice project” for people affected by the disaster.
The firm added: “As a result of constructive and collaborative engagement between the parties, settlement terms have been agreed with the vast majority of those affected without the need for lengthy court proceedings.
“We welcome the conclusion of the ADR process. Kingspan Insulation UK has also agreed to contribute to a restorative justice project to benefit the community affected by the fire, and expresses sincere condolences and sympathy to all who were and continue to be impacted by the tragedy.”
Celotex, which is owned by French multinational Saint Gobain, said: “A number of parties have been engaged in a process of alternative dispute resolution for a large number of civil claims brought by the bereaved, survivors and local residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
“We are one of the defendant parties which has been participating in that process.
“As a result of constructive and collaborative engagement between the parties, settlement terms have been agreed without the need for lengthy court proceedings. We welcome the conclusion of the ADR process.
The firm added: “Celotex and the Saint-Gobain Group reaffirm their deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the fire.”
Arconic also confirmed it was among the firms involved in the settlement and said it “continues to express its deepest sympathy to the Grenfell residents and their families,and appreciates the importance of this milestone for providing a resolution that lessens the delay and stress to claimants that would result from protracted legal proceedings.”