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Tags: FBU, Grenfell

Firefighters receive £20m settlement over Grenfell Tower tragedy

Justice for Grenfell Tower march

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Settlement reached for firefighters affected by Grenfell Tower fire

The union representing firefighters in the UK has confirmed a High Court settlement of £20m for members impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire.

A total of 114 firefighters, who faced personal injury and trauma from their response to the tragic event on 14 June 2017, were part of the claim.

The legal action focused on personal injury and loss due to alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty during the blaze at the 24-story block of flats in West London.

Thompsons Solicitors, a national law firm, represented the firefighters with support from The Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The claim targeted several defendants, including Arconic Architectural Products, Celotex, and Rydon Maintenance Limited, companies linked to the combustible cladding and refurbishment of the building’s exterior which contributed to the fire’s rapid spread.

Additional defendants were the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Fire Commissioner.

The background and implications of the settlement

The Grenfell Tower fire remains the deadliest in the UK since World War II, resulting in 72 fatalities and numerous injuries.

It left many residents without homes and sparked a public inquiry set to deliver its final report this year.

This settlement follows an earlier High Court decision, awarding compensation to nearly 900 bereaved, survivors, and residents impacted by the tragedy.

The court specified that these settlements relate solely to civil damages claims, without affecting the ongoing public inquiry or the possibility of future criminal charges.

Union and legal representatives speak out

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, highlighted the broader implications of the Grenfell tragedy, emphasising the systemic failings in building safety and government accountability.

“The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy is a stark reminder of the systemic failings of building safety and government accountability.

“Firefighters, many of whom have been deeply affected by the horrors they witnessed, continue to advocate for those living in unsafe conditions,” he stated.

Wrack criticised the prioritisation of private profit over public safety and called for governmental action to prevent future disasters and ensure accountability.

Vincent Reynolds from Thompsons Solicitors’ personal injury team, representing the firefighters, reflected on the lasting impact of the Grenfell Tower fire on those who responded.

“The Grenfell Tower fire left an indelible mark on the firefighters who responded to the call.

Many bear the psychological scars of that night, struggling with trauma from the harrowing experience,” he said.

Reynolds expressed hope that the settlement would provide some closure for the firefighters, acknowledging the long-term nature of their injuries.

IFSJ Comment

The £20m settlement awarded to firefighters for their bravery and sacrifices during the Grenfell Tower fire represents a critical acknowledgment of the profound impact such tragedies have on first responders.

Beyond the financial compensation, this settlement highlights the need for comprehensive reforms in building safety and fire response protocols to protect both the public and emergency personnel.

As the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire concludes, it is imperative that lessons are learned and implemented to prevent a recurrence of such a devastating event.

The Fire Brigades Union’s commitment to advocating for safer living conditions and accountability is a reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and reform in the wake of Grenfell.

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