The price of BHP shares declined after being hit by a $ 5 billion lawsuit by Samarco

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The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), the stock price has fallen this morning after suffering serious damage in connection with the bankruptcy of the Samarco dam.

In the morning trade the shares of the mining giant are down almost 1% to $ 37.02.

What happened?

According to the BBC, the company is facing a $ 5 billion compensation claim for the Samarco dam in Brazil in November 2015.

The SPG law firm states that the company "knew of the risks" at the mine and filed the request on behalf of 235,000 Brazilian applicants at the Liverpool High Court. This is the biggest complaint in the legal history of the United Kingdom.

SPG contributor Tom Goodhead said: "Repeated warnings and recommendations from dam safety experts have been treated too slowly, or set aside."

He added: "Driven by concern about falling revenues between the decline in the market price of iron ore, the company risked, increased production and turned a blind eye to the dangers that eventually caused victims and destroyed communities. ".

Mr Goodhead believes that "BHP was sadly negligent in its duty of care and that the damages required are entirely commensurate with the devastation the company has inflicted on the people of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Brazil."

And now?

This morning the company responded to the news, confirming that it was notified with legal proceedings filed with the Liverpool Business and Property Court. The company advised that "it intends to defend the request".

Although this statement could be a blow to the company, I think it's a bit too early to react.

For now, I would still be a buyer of BHP shares and those of rivals Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) e South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), although it is worth keeping an eye on trade talks between the United States and China. If things degenerate and derail global economic growth, it could put raw material prices under pressure.

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