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Samarco dam claimants to take BHP class action to UK Court of Appeal

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Lawyers for about 200,000 Brazilian claimants, whose 5 billion pound ($6.82 billion) lawsuit against Anglo-Australian miner BHP over a 2015 dam collapse was struck out last November, are optimistic about going to the Court of Appeal.

A High Court judge in Manchester refused on Friday to allow the claimants to appeal against his November ruling, saying he remained convinced the claim was not merely challenging but “irredeemably unmanageable if allowed to proceed further in this jurisdiction”.

The judge ordered the claimants to pay 8 million pounds in interim costs to BHP by 1600 GMT on Feb. 12.

The claimants have 21 days from Friday’s ruling to file their case at the Court of Appeal.

“This is a challenging case for the courts, but we are optimistic that we can establish jurisdiction in England and see justice done for our clients,” said Tom Goodhead, managing partner at PGMBM, which is representing the claimants.

BHP declined to comment on Friday’s decision or on the case being taken to the Court of Appeal.

$1 = 0.7329 pounds Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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