Bereaved, survivors and locals settle claims over Grenfell
Amy Howe – 2nd May 2023
Almost six years after the Grenfell Tower fire, a settlement has been reached for civil claims filed by more than 900 people affected by the tragedy.
The opening hearings were heard in the High Court back in July 2021, where claims were filed against numerous civil and corporate entities involved in the refurbishment of the tower between 2015 and 2016. The two years following the opening hearings involved an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediated by former president of the supreme court Lord David Neuberger. An ADR is settled outside of court and is generally a faster and more cost-efficient process. Manufacturing company Arconic, who made the cladding used on Grenfell Tower, was involved in the case and has agreed to the settlement terms, as well as contributions to a ‘restorative justice project’ for the local community. The sum of the settlement is undisclosed (though ITV News reports the figure is £150 million) and will be shared between all claimants according to specific circumstances.
But it’s far from the end of the road for inquiries into the June 2017 fire which claimed 72 lives.
The 14 law firms representing the claimants stressed that the settlement is not related to the ongoing public inquiry chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, or the ongoing criminal investigation involving the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The former wrapped up oral hearings in November 2022, though a final report is yet to be issued. A decision on the latter is expected to follow in the autumn, where it’s presumed the CPS will determine whether or not to pursue criminal charges against the entities responsible for the fire.