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By Oliver Griffin
BHP Group PLC (BHP.LN) is facing a $5 billion lawsuit for being "woefully negligent" in relation to the 2015 collapse of the Fundao dam in Brazil, which killed 19 people.
The Anglo-Australian miner is facing a group action lawsuit on behalf of 235,000 Brazilian individuals and organizations, who are represented by U.K. law firm SPG Law.
The groups include municipal governments, utility companies, indigenous tribes and the Catholic church, SPG Law said.
The suit has been served on BHP as one of the two parent companies of dam operator Samarco Mineracao SA. It alleges that BHP was aware of escalating safety concerns about the dam's integrity and were knowingly responsible for decision-making around its operation and maintenance.
Claimants also allege that BHP failed to heed and act on repeated warnings and consistently increased industrial output of iron ore, leading to water levels growing, despite the safety concerns.
Tom Goodhead, a partner at SPG Law said: "BHP was woefully negligent in its duty of care and the damages sought are entirely commensurate with the devastation the company has wrought upon the people of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Brazil."
A spokesman for BHP was not immediately available to comment.
Write to Oliver Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org; @OliGGriffin
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 07, 2019 09:23 ET (13:23 GMT)
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