Mariana dam disaster damages: BHP and Vale ordered to pay billions

January 26, 2024

A Brazilian judge has ruled that mining companies BHP and Vale and their joint venture Samarco must pay 47.6bn reais in damages for the Mariana dam disaster in 2015.

The damages will be paid into a Brazilian state fund to be used for projects and initiatives in the area affected by the Mariana dam disaster.

The judgment does not relate to individual claims or compensation and therefore is of little relevance to the claims brought by Pogust Goodhead clients in England, but it is a positive step in holding BHP, Vale and Samarco liable.

Speaking about the decision, Tom Goodhead, CEO and Global Managing Partner said:

“The nearly 700,000 victims I represent welcome Judge Cobucci’s ordering that BHP, Vale and Samarco pay $19bn USD in collective moral damages for their culpability in the ecocide they have committed in Mariana.
“BHP and Vale are liable to my clients for at least another $45bn USD and we are doubling down in the run-up to trial in October 2024 to make them pay what they owe. BHP’s and Vale’s shareholders should be under no illusion, nor should they accept unquestionably the assurances of board members who have stuck their heads in the sand, as to the immense liabilities the companies face.”

Read more about the decision in The Guardian.

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