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Jul 19, 2010

$2.3 Million Judgment Against Dole Bananas in Nicaragua Invalidated

On 19 July 2010 the Los Angeles Times reported that in California's 2nd District Court of Appeals, Judge Victoria Chaney had thrown out a $2.3 million award to six Nicaraguan men in a lawsuit against food giant Dole.  The reason for overturning the lower court's decision was fraud by American and Nicaraguan attorneys.

The case, Tellez vs. Dole Food Co., is the first case in the United States over injuries dating from the 1970s that were allegedly caused by the chemical dibromochloropropane (DBCP).  Dole used this chemical in its Nicaraguan banana fields.  The plaintiffs alleged that it cause sterility.  This lawsuit has been followed by thousands of Nicaraguans who claim medical harm was done to them by working for Dole. 

Judge Chaney concluded that evidence had been "based on an elaborate international scheme by plaintiffs' attorneys who tried to recruit fake banana workers, manipulate medical test results and defraud the American court system."  She based these conclusions on the testimony of 27 secret witnesses.

For more see:
Bronstad, Amanda.  "Finding 'Massive Fraud' by Plaintiffs Attorneys, Judge Tosses Out $2 Million Judgment Against Dole," The National Law Journal, 16 July 2010.

Kim, Victoria. "Judge throws out verdict awarding millions to Dole workers," Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2010.

"US judge overturns Dole Nicaragua banana ruling," BBC News, 16 July 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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