Samarco dam disaster is not over yet

The court ordered the companies to pay compensation of R$ 1.8 million to the family of dead worker in the Samarco dam collapse in Mariana, Brazil.

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Foto: Raquel Freitas/G1

The Regional Labor Court of the 3rd Region in Ouro Preto condemned six companies to pay compensation for material damages in the form of pension, and for moral damages to the family of Marcos Roberto Xavier, who died in Samarco dam collapse. The worker, who was 32 years old, is one of 19 died in the tragedy. He was a machine operator of the outsourced company Vix Logistics.

Convicted companies are: Vix Logística S/A, Samarco Mineração S/A, Vale S/A, South 32 Minerals S/A, BHP Billiton Brazil Ltda. and WMC Mineração Ltda.The Samarco dam collapsed on November 5th, 2015. The “river of mud” released with the collapse of the structure caused the death of 19 people, destroyed houses, devastated the Doce River and reached the coast of Espírito Santo. The disaster is considered the largest ever recorded in Brazil.

According to the judge of the Labor Court, Flavia Fonseca Parreira Storti, the amount of compensations reaches R$ 1.8 million.

Tatiana Luzia Segundo de Lima Xavier, wife of the dead worker, will receive R$ 200 thousand. The children, Marcos Vinícius de Lima Xavier and Yasmim Carolina de Lima Xavier, R$ 250 thousand each one. The father of the dead worker, John Xavier, the same value. The judge also determined that the widow and two children shall be compensated for material damages, in the form of a pension, which may exceed R$ 150 thousand.

According to family lawyer Bruno Lamis, the companies have eight days to appeal from the date of publication of the sentence.

This is the second court decision involving the Fundão dam collapse. On 17 April of this year, the court ordered the widow Ana Cláudia Prophet and her relatives to be compensated.

The reporter of the G1 made contact with the defense of BHP Billiton, South 32 Minerals S/A and WMC Mineração Ltda., who stated that they had not yet been notified of the court decision.

In a note, Vale informed that it will analyze the decision. “Samarco, supported by Vale and BHP, has provided assistance to the victims’ families. The companies are hoping to reach a fair and correct agreement,” the company said.

The lawyers of Vix Logística S/A have not yet positioned themselves.

Samarco will also review the decision. In a statement, the company reaffirmed that “Samarco always provided assistance to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of the Fundão dam collapse. The company has already entered into agreements with some families and other negotiations are under way.” Samarco said the company continues to hold a dialogue with everyone involved.

Source: G1

One Reply to “Samarco dam disaster is not over yet”

  1. How culpable should BHP executives be for the deaths caused by the Samarco dam burst disaster in Brazil? Most corporate cultures necessarily have a hard driven profit aspect, but when does that step over the line and become unethical?

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