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Following a two-day directions hearing, Mrs Justice O’Farrell has today directed a trial date to consider BHP’s alleged liability for Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, the collapse of the Fundão Dam in Mariana, Minas Gerais.
The first stage trial will be fixed for 9 April 2024 and last for 9 weeks (including pre-reading). The date and time estimate will be reviewed at a CMC to take place in March 2023.
Mrs Justice O’Farrell was satisfied that it was appropriate to direct a trial to address threshold issues of liability because the claims all arise out of one devastating event. The Judge concluded, without attempting to apportion blame, that “it is now time to avoid further delay and make substantive progress in determining the dispute.”
In addition to setting a trial date, Mrs Justice O’Farrell made a number of group and case management directions that will be of interest to practitioners.
Russell Hopkins is instructed by Pogust Goodhead for the claimants, together with Alain Choo Choy KC (One Essex Court), Nicholas Harrison and Jon McDonagh (both Serle Court).View External Link