Firefighters’ union announces settlement for members affected by Grenfell Tower fire

The union representing firefighters across the UK has announced that the claims for its members injured in the Grenfell tragedy have been settled for £20m in the High Court.

The claims were brought by 114 firefighters, some of whom were unable to work again due to severe trauma, for personal injury and loss caused by alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty when they attended the blaze on 14 June 2017 in the 24-story Grenfell Tower block of flats in West London.

National law firm Thompsons Solicitors represented the firefighters supported by The Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The defendants in the claim included Arconic Architectural Products, Celotex and Rydon Maintenance Limited, who were the companies that made the combustible cladding and designed and built the refurbishment to the exterior of the building, which contributed to the fire’s spread. Other defendants included the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Fire Commissioner.

The blaze was the deadliest in the United Kingdom since World War II, resulting in 72 deaths and leaving many residents injured and homeless. The public inquiry into the blaze will provide its final report this year.

The settlement for the firefighters follows the High Court settlement earlier this year for nearly 900 cases on behalf of the bereaved, survivors and residents affected by the tragedy.

The High Court clarified that these settlements pertained only to civil court damages claims and did not impact the ongoing public inquiry or the potential for any criminal charges in the future.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:

“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.

“This was a crime of deregulation and negligence – a consequence of private profit being prioritised over public safety. Nearly seven years later, the fight for justice and change goes on. The Fire Brigades Union stands shoulder to shoulder with the victims and survivors of Grenfell Tower, and with leaseholders and campaign groups across the UK. We demand that the government takes urgent action to ensure such a disaster never recurs, and that there is meaningful accountability for a tragedy born out of disregard for human life.”

Vincent Reynolds from the personal injury team at Thompsons Solicitors, who represented the firefighters, said:

“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. Their testimonies reveal the profound personal sacrifice of showing such extraordinary courage in the face of an impossible situation.

“The incident exposed them to unimaginable scenes and sparked a deeper reflection on fire and building safety policy. Their experiences on that night and in its aftermath highlight the human element of firefighting, underscoring their commitment to their duty despite the immense risks and emotional toll.

“We hope this settlement brings closure of a sort for these firefighters, although we know that for many, the injuries will last a lifetime.”

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