THE BEREAVED and survivors of the 2017 fire, and those made homeless, have lodged a ‘multimillion pound’ claim at the High Court against ‘those they believe played a role’ in the fire.

London News Online reported on the case, a civil claim lodged at the court just before Christmas, with papers naming 23 defendants including the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation; former London fire commissioner Dany Cotton; the Home Office; and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Others include cladding manufacturer Arconic and its French subsidiary; architects Studio E; contractors Rydon; insulation manufacturers Celotex; and Whirlpool. The claims are for ‘personal injury and other loss and damage’, as well as for the ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’, and allege that the defendants’ ‘failings separately and cumulatively led to or contributed to the disaster, including the failings of their employees or agents, for which they are vicariously liable’.

The papers also state that the claims against some defendants are ‘principally negligence’, while some come under the Consumer Protection, Defective Premises and Occupiers Liability Act as well as private and public nuisance. Claims against the public authorities and government departments include alleged ‘unlawful acts’ under the Human Rights Act.

Earlier this month, the inquiry into the fire saw oral hearings temporarily suspended because of the new national COVID-19 lockdown, with remote hearings hoped to be begun ‘as early as possible’ in February. It had been paused in early December due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19.

Also earlier this month, it was revealed that politicians including former Prime Minister Theresa May could be cross examined about their actions at the inquiry this year, while Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh demanded Arconic executives ‘step up’ and testify after refusing.