February 16, 2021
PGMBM LAUNCH CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT’S HOTEL QUARANTINE POLICY
In response to the news that the Government would be enforcing a mandatory hotel quarantine policy, PGMBM is launching a legal challenge to stand up for the human rights of those entering the UK. We believe that the hotel quarantine policy is unlawful and should therefore be subject to judicial review.
Tom Goodhead, Barrister and Managing Partner of PGMBM, said: “We wholeheartedly appreciate the seriousness of the pandemic, its impact globally, and the efforts of governments and healthcare workers to tackle it. This does not, however, mean that policies which constitute extraordinary violations of traditional liberties and human rights should not face careful judicial examination.
February 14, 2021
UK SUPREME COURT ALLOWS APPEAL IN A GROUP LITIGATION INVOLVING SHELL
In a ground-breaking judgment, the UK Supreme Court allowed an appeal in a group litigation against the oil and gas company Shell plc. The decision will allow 42,500 Nigerian victims to continue their fight for justice in England.
The appeal was concerned with the jurisdiction of the English courts against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (“SPDC”), a Nigerian company, and with whether a common law duty of care was owed by the English parent company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (“RDS”), to those affected.
The victims argued that that English company RDS owed them a duty of care because of the significant control RDS exercised over SPDC’s operations.
February 4, 2021
OVER A MILLION VEHICLES FAILED MOTs IN 2020 DUE TO EXHAUST EMISSIONS
A record number of vehicles failed their MOT tests in 2020 due to issues relating to potentially harmful exhaust emissions.
The survey suggests that failures in 2020 increased by more than 70% when compared to pre-2018 when new guidance was offered. Sources indicate that 1.3 million vehicles were implicated, with diesel cars guilty of the most significant surge in emission failures.
PGMBM is currently litigating against several manufacturers to hold them accountable for their alleged unlawful actions and seek compensation for those involved.
January 12, 2021
BRITISH AIRWAYS DATA BREACH CLAIM BECOMES BIGGEST OF ITS KIND IN THE UK WITH MORE THAN 16,000 SIGNING UP TO JOIN
The 2018 BA Data Breach Claim has become the largest group action personal data claim in UK history, with over 16,000 victims seeking compensation from the airline. PGMBM are the lead solicitors in the group litigation case against British Airways on behalf of victims.
We expect that victim compensation could be up to £2,000, putting BA’s overall potential liability at around £800million.
Those involved now have until 19 March 2021 to sign up via the dedicated website, badatabreach.com.
December 21, 2020
“ACCESS [TO JUSTICE] DENIED” – MUNICIPIO DE MARIANA ORS v BHP PLC BHP LTD
On 09 November 2020, Mr Justice Turner of the High Court, handed down a judgment that denied the jurisdiction of the English Court to adjudicate the liability of BHP Plc and BHP Ltd on the merits. The judgment struck out the claims of over 200,000 Brazilian Claimants as an abuse of the process and further held that had the case not been struck out.
While it is beyond the scope of this post to analyse each of these technical findings, the consequences of the judgment will be discussed in relation to the facts of this case and other future business and human rights proceedings.
Originally posted on Oxford Human Rights Hub.
December 16, 2020
INQUEST LABELS ‘AIR POLLUTION’ AS CAUSE OF DEATH FOR FIRST TIME EVER
After a fresh inquest into the death of a nine-year-old girl concluded that she died as a result of air pollution, theories surrounding the relationship between pollution and ill-health have been forced into a sickening reality.
Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is the first person in the UK, and possibly even the world, to have air pollution listed as her cause of death.
According to BBC news, Southwark Coroner’s Court concluded that air pollution “made a material contribution” to Ella’s death. After the two-week inquest was concluded, Philip Barlow, Coroner, stated that Ella has been exposed to “excessive” levels of air pollution.
November 9, 2020
VICTIMS OF MARIANA DAM DISASTER TO APPEAL ENGLISH COURT DECISION NOT TO PROCEED WITH £5BN CASE AGAINST MINERS BHP
The victims of the Fundão Dam disaster in Mariana, Brazil, intend to appeal after a first instance English court judgment not to proceed with their multi-billion pound case against mining giant BHP over their ‘ultimate responsibility’ for the incident, in which an iron-ore tailings dam collapsed, unleashing the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.
Lawyers for the 200,000 claimants maintain that dual-listed Anglo-Australian company BHP should face the action in the courts of the nation in which they are headquartered – England – and they will now take their case to the court of appeal.
October 28, 2020
PGMBM FILING ‘DIESELGATE’ GROUP ACTION AGAINST FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES
PGMBM is filing a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). We believe they deliberately misled customers by fitting ‘defeat devices’ in breach of diesel emissions regulations.
Hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles may be affected, including Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Iveco, and Suzuki diesel vehicles.
Anyone who owned or leased an affected vehicle first registered between 2008 and 2020 may be able to claim up to £10,000 in compensation for being misled.
October 21, 2020
BRITISH AIRWAYS DATA BREACH: ‘IT’S TIME FOR VICTIMS TO BE COMPENSATED’
PGMBM have welcomed the decision from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to levy British Airways’s fine over their 2018 breach.
We believe it is now time for the half a million BA customers affected by the breach to be compensated.
Harris Pogust, Partner, commented: “Unfortunately Covid-19 has taken a significant toll on the airline industry and the move by the ICO to reduce BA’s fine should allow them to protect the business. However, it is now time for BA to compensate the victims.”
September 30, 2020
PGMBM OPENS NEW OFFICE IN MIAMI WITH PRESTIGIOUS HIRES
PGMBM is proud to announce the opening of a new office in Miami, Florida– a key milestone in our continued global growth.
The Miami operation will be headed by experienced attorney Melissa Ferrari. She will play a key role in solidifying the firm as a major global player in mass and class-action litigation, antitrust law, and alternative dispute resolution.
Melissa will be joined by top litigator Joshua Kushner, who joins us from Kobre and Kim LLP.
September 24, 2020
BRAZIL’S HANDLING OF THE MARIANA DAM DISASTER LABELLED A ‘TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE’
A newly published UN human rights council report claims that ‘urgent attention’ is required to address Brazil’s ‘regression from its human rights obligations’.
UN Special Rapporteur Bashkut Tunak revealed that none of the 42 projects to repair damage from the 2015 Mariana dam disaster are on track.
“Following the Mariana and Brumadinho disasters, no corporate executive of Vale, BHP or Samarco stands convicted of criminal conduct,” Bashkut said. “It is a travesty of justice suggesting some in Brazil are indeed above the law.”
September 18, 2020
UK DRIVERS ONE STEP CLOSER TO RECEIVING MERCEDES COMPENSATION
Mercedes-Benz has agreed to pay £1.7 billion to settle diesel emission cheat claims in the United States, meaning Mercedes UK drivers may be one step closer to getting the compensation they deserve.
In a statement, Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes, said that it expected costs of £1.14bn relating to the civil and environmental claims, and £535m relating to the consumer class action.
While the US settlement is welcomed by PGMBM, British drivers may be entitled to far more.
September 11, 2020
PGMBM’s LISA LUNT INTERVIEWED BY SKY NEWS IN PRIMODOS INVESTIGATION.
PGMBM’s Head of Medical Liability, Lisa Lunt, was interviewed by Sky News, sharing her thoughts on the latest evidence unveiled in the case.
“I think that Liz’s freedom of information act request is incredibly important,” she said.
“It shows that key changes were made to the report and I have not seen any evidence to suggest that those changes were endorsed by the entire working group: it looks like they were made at the last minute.”
September 10, 2020
FORMER VOLKSWAGEN CEO TO STAND TRIAL OVER EMISSIONS SCANDAL
A German court has ruled that the former CEO of Volkswagen will have to stand trial as part of the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Martin Winterkorn resigned from his post five years ago, after a notice of violation from the US Environmental Protection Agency brought to light years of VW emissions cheating.
He and four other defendants will face trial in Germany on charges of fraud in connection with aggravated tax evasion and illegal advertising in the Dieselgate scandal.
The court found a ‘predominant likelihood’ of a fraud conviction for the lies surrounding diesel emissions in thousands of VW vehicles.
September 3, 2020
BHP TO BE DAMMED?
On 5 November 2015, a devastating mudslide following the collapse of the Fundao Dam tore through Mariana, Brazil. 19 people lost their lives, tonnes of fish died, and over 600km of waterways were polluted in what is regarded as Brazil’s worst environmental disaster. The cause of this collapse is allegedly the negligence of Samarco, the mining company operating the dam, which was created to dispose of toxic iron ore tailings from mine extraction.
PGMBM is bringing claims on behalf of over 200 000 claimants against BHP Billiton, the Anglo-Australian co-parent company of Samarco, for the damages arising from the disaster.
August 30, 2020
PGMBM CALLS ON BAYER TO ADDRESS GLOBAL CLAIMS AFTER $1.6 BILLION US SETTLEMENT DECISION IN ESSURE CASE
Thousands of claims have now been settled in the USA surrounding the controversial Essure implant, but PGMBM is still fighting for justice for thousands of other victims.
Harris Pogust, PGMBM Partner, called Essure ‘one of the most dangerous medical devices that has been put on the market in recent memory’ and asked for Bayer to be held accountable.
July 14, 2020
PGMBM COMMITS TO ENSURING JUSTICE AS INDEPENDENT REPORT CONFIRMS FAILURES IN BRITISH HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
PGMBM has welcomed the publication of an independent report into the safety and side-effects of treatments recommended and administered by the British healthcare industry. After a two-year study, the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety review was published today by Baroness Cumberlege and entitled First Do No Harm.
The report details the grim history of Primodos, a hormone pregnancy test drug, Sodium Valproate, an anti-epilepsy drug, and vaginal mesh used to support weakened pelvic organs and repair damaged tissue.
June 27, 2020
PGMBM INITIATES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST NISSAN AND RENAULT
PGMBM has announced that it is taking legal action against vehicle manufacturers Renault and Nissan, following allegations that illegal emissions defeat devices have been fitted in a number of cars and vans.
Defeat devices are designed to sense when a car is under specific testing conditions, and accordingly turn on emissions controls, allowing the vehicle to falsely pass regulatory checks.
In acting against Renault and Nissan, the firm will initially try to settle the claim with a pre-action letter and may subsequently seek a Group Litigation Order against the manufacturers, seeking compensation for the hundreds of customers affected.
June 26, 2020
PGMBM INSTRUCTS SERLE COURT IN EASYJET DATA BREACH LITIGATION
PGMBM has instructed Sophie Holcombe and David Blayney QC of Serle Court in ongoing litigation against the aviation giant easyJet.
In May, the airline announced that it had been subjected to a data theft attack, under which the confidential information of over nine million customers had been breached.
One of the UK’s largest data breaches to date, questions have been raised as to the efficacy of the cyber-security measures in place at easyJet, and why the airline chose to notify the UK Information Commissioner’s Office in January, but to delay informing its customers until May.
June 1, 2020
MERCEDES DIESEL EMISSIONS SCANDAL: PGMBM WILL BE ACTING ON BEHALF OF THOUSANDS OF CLAIMANTS WHO WERE AFFECTED
PGMBM has filed a claim against Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, in the Liverpool High Court. The case relates to a Mercedes diesel emissions scandal, which involves the use of defeat devices (also called ‘cheat devices’) on an estimated half million Mercedes diesel vehicles first registered between 2007 and 2018 in the United Kingdom.
These defeat device software systems change the way the vehicles function in test scenarios, to help them meet required emissions and performance levels, when in day-to-day use, the vehicles would in fact fall well short of that mark.
May 22, 2020
PGMBM ISSUES CLASS ACTION CLAIM ON BEHALF OF EASYJET CUSTOMERS OVER MAJOR DATA BREACH
The British airline group EasyJet announced on 19 May 2020 that sensitive personal data of nine million customers from around the world had been exposed in a “sophisticated” data breach. The cyber-attack occurred in January 2020 but despite notifying the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office at that time, EasyJet waited four months to notify its customers.
PGMBM, a leading international group litigation specialist have issued the claim form on behalf of impacted customers, after having been contacted by numerous affected people when the data breach was made public.
May 13, 2020
SPG LAW IS NOW PGMBM: LEARN ABOUT THE REBRAND
Our lawyers are dedicated to helping ordinary people fight for justice against the largest multinational corporations in the world. We are passionate about holding these corporate giants to account for the devastating and often irreparable damage they have inflicted on people and the environment. We are currently taking on companies such as BHP, British Airways and Volkswagen to secure the compensation our clients deserve.
With PGMBM, we are growing our international team of leading solicitors and barristers to best equip the firm to expand the reach of our services to help even more people.
Oct 4, 2019
HIGH COURT IN LONDON GRANTED A GROUP LITIGATION ORDER FOLLOWING SEPTEMBER 2018 BRITISH AIRWAYS DATA BREACH
SPG Law, acting on behalf of thousands of BA customers in a group action lawsuit against embattled airline following its catastrophic 2018 data breach has been granted a group litigation order by the High Court in London.
British Airways is facing legal claims from thousands of customers whose sensitive personal data was stolen and compromised by third parties who breached the company’s online reservations systems.
In September 2018, BA announced that their online reservation systems had been accessed by an unauthorised third party.
Aug 3, 2019
PRIMODOS: FIRMS AND GOVT FACE LEGAL ACTION OVER CLAIMS PREGNANCY DRUG ‘DAMAGED BABIES’
Primodos was a hormone-based pregnancy test, manufactured by Schering, now Bayer PLC, first made available for sale in the UK in 1956 and was withdrawn from sale in 1978.
The drug consisted of two pills, to be taken in two consecutive days, and detected pregnancy by inducing a period in a woman who was not pregnant. However, many families believe that if the mother was pregnant, it damaged or even killed their children in the womb.
July 1, 2019
SPG LAW INSTRUCTS EXCHANGE CHAMBERS ON “DIESELGATE” CLASS ACTION
A number of barristers from Exchange Chambers have been instructed by SPG Law to advise on the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” class action.
SPG Law are acting for over 16,000 car owners who bought a diesel VW, Audi, Skoda or Seat car between 2008 and 2015.
On the 18 September 2015 it was first alleged by US authorities that VW had sought to cheat the US emissions testing regime in respect of NOx emissions by fitting their vehicles with illegal “defeat devices”. The German authorities confirmed shortly thereafter that vehicles fitted with similar software had been sold across Europe.
May 7, 2019
BHP BILLITON ‘WOEFULLY NEGLIGENT’ OVER BRAZIL DAM COLLAPSE
The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court.
The Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton is being sued for about £5bn by Brazilian victims of the Samarco dam collapse in Mariana four years ago.
The class action case was filed in the Liverpool High Court by the UK-based SPG Law – currently known as PGMBM Law – on behalf of over 200,000 individuals and organisations affected by the disaster.
Nineteen people died after toxic waters from the failed tailings dam surged through the village of Bento Rodrigues on 5 November 2015.
April 12, 2018
WOMEN SOUNDED ALARM ON ESSURE BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE
Essure, manufactured by Bayer HealthCare, is the only non-surgical permanent form of birth control for women in the UK. Made of a metal coil and plastic PET fibers, the device is known to slice through the uterus and fallopian tubes, migrate into the pelvis or abdomen, and cause allergic and autoimmune reaction to the materials, maiming thousands of women.
 More than 750,000 Essure devices have been sold worldwide since it was introduced in 2002, according to Bayer. The product, long presented as a less invasive alternative to surgical sterilization, is no longer sold outside the U.S. for “commercial reasons,” company spokeswoman Courtney Mallon said in an email.
March 1, 2018
VOLKSWAGEN REACH SETTLEMENT DECISION IN USA
A record breaking settlement decision has been reached in the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal in the USA after VW allegedly fitted ‘defeat devices’ in its vehicles.
A final figure of $14.7 billion was approved by US District Court Judge Charles Breyer on 25 October 2016. The money is the largest settlement sum in US history and will be used to compensate more than 475,000 drivers.
Despite the settlement in the USA, Volkswagen is continuing to deny claims of fitting defeat devices in the UK and Europe.