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.

Client portal

If you are a client in this claim, you can head to casoinglesmariana.com.br to confirm your details or log in to the Pogust Goodhead client portal using your CPF. 

Mariana in the news 

Since we launched the Mariana dam disaster claim seeking justice for the victims in Brazil, the mainstream media has been interested in covering the case. A selection of our most recent media coverage, which took place during the BHP vs Vale court case in August 2023, can be viewed here. Coverage included The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and many more. Our 2022 media coverage can be viewed here, and you can see all our latest news and opinions by heading to pogustgoodhead.com/press-opinions.

The Team

Tom Goodhead
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Chris Neill
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Faranak Ghajavand
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Caroline Narvaez
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Chiara Priovolou
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Elisa Learmond
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Our Cases

We represent a diverse range of clients against multi-national corporations, governments, and institutions around the world.

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