The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in the Courts of England and Wales: the Mariana dam disaster claim. Pogust Goodhead is representing more than 700,000 people affected by the disaster.
What is the Mariana dam disaster?
On 5 November 2015, the Fundão tailings dam collapsed in Minas Gerais, Brazil, unleashing around 50 million cubic metres of toxic waste, resulting in one of the most devastating environmental disasters in Brazilian history.
The collapse of the Mariana dam released an avalanche of arsenic-laced mud, which destroyed the small town of Bento Rodrigues. The mud travelled so quickly that inhabitants did not have time to escape, and 19 people lost their lives.
The toxic sludge made its way through various waterways and villages, destroying landscapes, and indiscriminately damaging infrastructure and wildlife. It travelled 700km to the Atlantic Ocean destroying water supplies, vehicles, habitats, live stocks and, ultimately, peoples’ lives.
The Mariana dam disaster claim
Pogust Goodhead represents over 700,000 plaintiffs affected by the Mariana dam disaster, including individuals, Brazilian municipalities, Indigenous communities, and local churches, all of whom suffered loss as a result of the dam collapse.
The case is being brought against the Anglo-Australian company BHP, which operates in Brazil through its subsidiary, Samarco.
In 2022, Pogust Goodhead (previously PGMBM) helped victims of the disaster get their claim reopened in the English courts, giving them hope for justice and compensation in the future. Following a five day hearing at London’s Court of Appeal, three judges gave a unanimous judgment, which allowed the case to proceed through the Courts of England and Wales.
In June 2023, BHP suffered a further defeat in its attempt to stop Pogust Goodhead’s lawsuit, after the Supreme Court refused its appeal. Pogust Goodhead looks forward to progressing the claim and finally securing justice for our claimants.
Mariana in the news
“We have suffered at the hands of companies that are not even from our country. They deceived our community.”— Pogust Goodhead (@PogustGoodhead) November 4, 2023
BHP is responsible for Brazil’s worst environmental disaster – which has affected indigenous communities in Aracruz for the past 8 years after toxic waste spilled into… pic.twitter.com/aWZcFSAfeZ