On 8 July 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Municipio De Mariana group litigation claim, granting permission for some 200,000 Brazilian claimants to pursue in the UK their group action for damages caused by the collapse of the Fundão Dam in Brazil in 2015.
The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision (please see our briefing) (which struck out the claim as an abuse of process) and also found for the claimants in respect of the defendants' various jurisdictional challenges. The Court of Appeal's decision is important in signalling the English courts' willingness to hear complex multi-jurisdictional group claims, even when there are parallel proceedings on foot abroad.
The Claimants: with over 200,000 claimants seeking compensation for losses, the Municipio De Mariana case will be one of the largest group litigation claims ever heard in the courts of England and Wales. The claimants are all Brazilian and comprise: (a) over 200,000 individuals; (b) 530 businesses; (c) 15 churches and faith-based institutions; (d) 25 municipalities; and (e) 5 utility companies.