UK: Court to hear jurisdictional issue in case against BHP over Brazilian dam collapse
"BHP faces first step in $6.3 billion UK claim over Brazil dam failure," 14 Jul 2020
More than 200,000 Brazilian people and groups will next week kick off a 5 billion-pound ($6.3 billion) lawsuit against Anglo-Australian miner BHP in Britain over a 2015 dam failure that led to Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.
The group claim, one of the largest in British legal history, has been brought on behalf of Brazilian individuals, businesses, churches, organisations, municipalities and indigenous people and will open in Manchester on July 22.
An initial, eight-day hearing will establish whether the case can be heard in Britain, although the judge is expected to reserve judgment until later in the year. If successful, further trials are expected to determine liability and quantify damages.
BHP spokesman Neil Burrows said the claim did not belong in Britain because it duplicated proceedings in Brazil and the ongoing work of the Renova Foundation, an entity created by the miner and its partners to manage reparations and repairs...
Claimants allege BHP, the world’s largest miner by market value, ignored safety warnings as the dam’s capacity was repeatedly increased by raising its height - and disregarded cracks that pointed to early signs of rupture.