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25 Mar 2021

Kirstin Ridley, Reuters

UK Court of Appeal denies revival of Brazilians' lawsuit against BHP over 2015 dam collapse

"Vast Brazil lawsuit in UK against BHP over 2015 dam failure hits buffers", 24 Mar 2021

A 200,000-strong Brazilian claimant group said on Wednesday it had failed to resurrect a 5.0 billion pound ($6.9 billion) English lawsuit against Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP over a devastating 2015 dam failure.

The Court of Appeal agreed with a lower court that the vast group action was an abuse of process, that claimants were already able to seek redress in Brazil and that the case would be “irredeemably unmanageable” if allowed to proceed.

Tom Goodhead, the PGMBM lawyer representing the claimants, said it was “a sad day for the English justice system” after senior judges agreed that the claim, relating to Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, should be struck out...

Goodhead said he was surprised and disappointed by the Court of Appeal decision, which sent “a poor message about corporate responsibility and legal consequences for wrongdoing”...

BHP welcomed the decision, which it said reinforced its view that the proceedings duplicated existing and ongoing remediation efforts and legal proceedings in Brazil. It said it remained fully committed to doing “the right thing” for victims...