Lawyers urge immediate support for victims of Grenfell Tower fire
Experts from Leigh Day who are currently acting for 40 victims of the Shepherd's Bush tower block fire and who advised the tenants association in the Lakanal House high-rise fire have said that as much as possible should be done to ensure those affected can begin rebuilding their lives.
Posted on 16 June 2017
Jill Paterson, from law firm Leigh Day who acts on behalf of 40 victims of the Shepherd’s Bush fire, welcomed the announcement of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire but said that ensuring financial support is provided to affected residents should not be delayed until the outcome of the inquiry.
Ms Paterson added that a scheme to provide interim payments to affected families should be set up as soon as possible.
Leigh Day were involved in the public inquiry following the 1999 Paddington train crash and represented victims of the disaster. In that case St Paul insurance company took the lead in providing immediate support and resolving claims right from the outset putting aside the issue of which individual bodies were responsible.
Jill Paterson, of law firm Leigh Day, said:
“It is crucial that those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire are given the support they need as quickly as possible.
“In previous cases we have been involved in, insurers took the lead in resolving the claims right from the outset and responded proactively and with a high degree of sympathy and compassion for the victims, putting aside the issue of which individual bodies were responsible so far as the victims were concerned.
“This approach should now be taken in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire to ensure that those affected can begin to rebuild their lives.”
The Grenfell Tower fire has left at least 30 people dead, with many more missing.
In 2009, six people died when a fire broke out in Lakanal House in Southwark, the inquest which took place in 2013 heard how composite panels had been on the building.
In August 2016 a fire ripped through five floors of a high rise block in Shepherd’s Bush. The fire is believed to have been started by a faulty appliance. No one was injured but a number of families’ homes were destroyed.