Brazilian Law Firm Advocacia Garcez is working with United Kingdom human rights law firm Leigh Day and Motley Rice LLC, one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in the United States, in litigation related to the collapse of Vale’s Córrego de Feijão dam in Brumadinho on Jan. 25, 2019. Leigh Day and Motley Rice will assist as consultants dealing with issues outside of Brazil regarding environmental and personal injury class action litigation.
Advocacia Garcez and lawyers for the Unions Siticop MG and the Brumadinho Workers Union filed a class action against Vale in the Labour Court of Betim, Minas Gerais in Brazil on April 9, 2019 on behalf of families of deceased workers and workers.
Advocacia Garcez is also investigating environmental claims against Vale for individuals and businesses related to damage to land and property caused by the Brumadinho dam collapse.
Leigh Day and Motley Rice have successfully represented claimants in landmark environmental tort litigation. Examples of their work include Leigh Day’s representation of victims of oil pollution claims against Royal Dutch Shell for 15,000 Nigerian fisherman and toxic waste dumping claims against Trafigura for 30,000 residents of Cote D’Ivoire. In March 2019, Leigh Day succeeded in persuading the UK Supreme Court to allow a case for Zambian communities alleging contamination from a copper mine to proceed against Vedanta plc.
Motley Rice represented victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster which killed 11 oil rig workers and spilled close to five million gallons of crude oil into U.S. Gulf Coast waters. Motley Rice co-founder Joseph F. Rice was one of the lead negotiators of settlements with BP and Haliburton, one of which is the largest civil class action settlement in U.S. history. Motley Rice has also litigated lead pigment poisoning cases on behalf of government entities against the lead pigment industry, including 10 cities and counties in California. This California-based litigation resulted in a verdict of hundreds of millions of dollars for the lead abatement of homes in the jurisdictions that were constructed prior to 1951.
Both Leigh Day and Motley Rice were engaged as consultants to counsel in South Africa who represented miners and their dependents who developed silicosis while working in the gold mines. It has resulted in a historic settlement, an important mediation and the first class action of its kind in the county, providing unprecedented relief to tens of thousands of miners and their dependents.
Richard Meeran, head of the International Department at Leigh Day, said: “Leigh Day is delighted to be asked to assist Advocacia Garcez in seeking to hold Vale legally accountable for the tragedy we believe it has caused.”
“Motley Rice is ready to lend our experience in complex civil litigation to Advocacia Garcez, in order that his clients may obtain justice and accountability for this preventable catastrophic disaster in Brazil,” says Motley Rice member attorney Michael Elsner.