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8 Jul 2022

Estado de Minas,
The Guardian

Brazil: Mariana dam victims given the right to sue BHP for compensation in UK courts; incl. company comments

Agência Brasil - EBC

"Victims of Brazil’s worst environmental disaster to get day in UK courts", 08 July 2022

...More than 200,000 victims of Brazil’s worst environmental disaster will have their case heard in a UK court, making it the largest group claim in English legal history.

The lawsuit is against the Anglo-Australian mining company BHP ...for their involvement in the collapse of the Mariana dam in 2015, which released toxic mining waste down 400 miles (640km) of waterways along the Doce River. Claimants are seeking at least £5bn ($6bn) in compensation.

The court of appeal released a 107-page judgment on Friday that BHP, which had its headquarters in England at the time of the dam’s collapse, would have to account for its role in the disaster...

The judgment said compensation being paid in Brazil did not seem adequate....nous communities, are being represented by the London-based international law firm PGMBM. There are also 530 businesses, 25 municipalities and six religious organisations being represented...

...According to a BHP spokesperson, by the end of this year about $5.6bn (£4.7bn) will have been spent in Brazil on fixing the damage, including compensation programmes.

A BHP spokesperson said: “We will review the judgment and consider our next steps, which may include an application for permission to appeal to the supreme court. We will continue to defend the action, which we believe remains unnecessary as it duplicates matters already covered by the existing and ongoing work of the Renova Foundation under the supervision of the Brazilian courts and legal proceedings in Brazil.”