UK: High Court rejects $6.6 billion group claim against BHP over Fundão dam collapse
"English judge blocks $6.6 billion Brazil lawsuit against BHP over burst dam", 9 November 2020.
LONDON (Reuters) - A 5.0 billion pound ($6.6 billion) English lawsuit against Anglo-Australian mining giant has been struck out, in a blow to a 200,000-strong Brazilian claimant group seeking damages after a devastating dam failure in 2015.
A High Court judge in Manchester ruled that managing the largest group claim in English legal history would be like “trying to build a house of cards in a wind tunnel” and the case was an “abuse of the process of the court”.
BHP welcomed the decision, which it said reinforced its view that victims should pursue claims in Brazil and that the case duplicated ongoing work and legal proceedings there.
Tom Goodhead, a lawyer at PGMBM representing the claimants, called the judgment “fundamentally flawed” and vowed to appeal.
“We will continue to fight ceaselessly, for however long it takes, in any court in the world, to ensure that BHP are held accountable for their actions,” he said.
The collapse of the Fundao dam, which is owned by the Samarco joint venture between BHP and Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale VALE3.SA, killed 19 and sent a torrent of mining waste into communities, the Doce river, and the Atlantic Ocean, 650 kilometres (400 miles) away. It was Brazil's worst environmental disaster...