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Judge tosses US lawsuit over fire at London's Grenfell Tower

·1 min read
A man looks at tributes placed near Grenfell Tower in London, Sunday, June 14, 2020. Britain is marking the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire with a virtual church service to remember the 72 people who died in the blaze. Sunday marks three years since a small kitchen fire in the west London public-housing block turned into the worst domestic blaze in the country since World War II. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A man looks at tributes placed near Grenfell Tower in London, Sunday, June 14, 2020. Britain is marking the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire with a virtual church service to remember the 72 people who died in the blaze. Sunday marks three years since a small kitchen fire in the west London public-housing block turned into the worst domestic blaze in the country since World War II. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A U.S. judge in Philadelphia has dismissed a lawsuit filed over the 2017 fire at London’s Grenfell Tower that killed 72 people, concluding the case should be litigated there.

The lawsuit claimed that faulty building materials, some made by U.S. manufacturers, turned the tower into a “flaming coffin.”

The June 14, 2017, fire started in an apartment refrigerator and raced up the side of the 24-story residential building. Plaintiff’s lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi, who filed the suit, said Thursday that his clients were considering their options, including an appeal of the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson, in Wednesday's ruling, said it would be more efficient to try the case in the United Kingdom, given the ongoing government probe into the cause and the availability of witnesses and potential co-defendants.

The suit was filed last year against refrigerator maker Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Michigan; Pittsburgh-based cladding manufacturer Arconic Inc.; and insulation maker Celotex, whose corporate parent, French manufacturer Saint-Gobain, has its U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia suburbs.