Brazil: Vale Company to pay for damages caused by Brumadinho dam collapse

26 August 2019; originally published here by BBC 10 July 2019

A judge in Brazil has ordered mining giant Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by the collapse of the Brumadinho dam in January. The collapse was Brazil’s worst industrial accident. The judge did not set a figure for the compensation but said that the company was responsible for fixing all the damages including the economic effects.

At least 248 people were killed as a sea of mud engulfed a staff canteen, offices and nearby farms. Twenty-two people are still missing following the collapse of the Feijão dam on 25 January.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira also said that $2.9bn (£2.3bn) of Vale’s assets frozen by courts should remain blocked. He said the funds should be used to make compensation payments to affected families and businesses. Explaining why he had not specify an amount for Vale to pay out, he argued that technical and scientific criteria were not enough to quantify the effects of the collapse. 

“The value [of the compensation] is not limited to the deaths resulting from the event, it also affects the environment on a local and regional level as well as the economic activity in the affected region.”

Judge Nogueira

Thus far according to the BBC article, and please find the entire article here.

What is interesting to note, is the indication that Judge Nogueira leaves room for the impact of this environmental disaster to be determined in the future for the environment as well. This gives hope for a different view of how corporations are going to have to rectify the ramifications of a disaster from their operations.

Along those lines is how The Crowd Versus works: we believe legal change will create societal change. Because we think that a company has a social duty to the people surrounding its location and to the environment.

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