The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court.
On 5 November 2015, the Fundão tailings dam collapsed in Minas Gerais, Brazil, unleashing approximately 60 million cubic metres of toxic waste, resulting in one the most devastating environmental disasters in Brazilian history.
19 people were killed by an avalanche of mud which destroyed the small town of Bento Rodrigues, travelling so quickly that inhabitants did not have time to escape. The liquid, comprised of iron ore and water, made its way through various waterways, flowing into 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.
PGMBM represents over 200,000 plaintiffs, including individuals, Brazilian municipalities, Krenak Indigenous communities and the Catholic Church, all of whom suffered loss as a result of this disaster.
It is one of the largest cases ever filed in the English Courts. It is being brought against Anglo-Australian company BHP, which operates in Brazil through a company called Samarco.