On 5 November 2015, the Fundão dam in south eastern Brazil collapsed and over 40 million cubic metres of iron ore mine tailings were released into the Doce River. The consequences were catastrophic.
The polluting waste eventually found its way to the Atlantic Ocean over 400 miles away. It destroyed, damaged or contaminated everything in its path. Nineteen people died. Hundreds of thousands suffered loss. Entire villages were obliterated.
In these proceedings, about 202,600 individual, corporate and institutional claimants contend that the defendants are liable to compensate them for losses sustained as a result of the disaster.
The defendants not only deny liability but now seek to persuade the court, on four distinct grounds, that the case against them should be allowed to proceed no further. This judgment is my determination of those issues.