US jury awards damages to Central American Dole banana workers


This video about Guatemala and the United Fruit Company.

By D. Lencho:

Jury awards damages to Central American Dole workers

23 November 2007

A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court has awarded close to $6 million to six workers in a lawsuit against corporate giants Dole Fresh Fruit Co. and Dow Chemical Co. The suit was filed in 2004 by 12 Central American men who worked at a Dole banana plantation in Nicaragua during the 1970s. The workers claimed they were made sterile by exposure to a Dow pesticide used by Dole.

On November 5, the jury found in favor of six of the plaintiffs and awarded them $3.3 million in compensatory damages. The following week, on November 15, the jury awarded $2.5 million in punitive damages to five of those six workers.

Another co-defendant, Amvac Chemical Corp., had settled for $300,000 before the trial.

The pesticide, dibromochloropropane, or DBCP, is used to kill microscopic worms on the roots of the banana trees. In the 1970s, a number of workers who worked with DBCP at Dow’s processing plant in Midland, Michigan, were diagnosed as sterile. However, under the threat of a breach of contract suit, Dow continued to supply Dole’s foreign operations with DBCP. It was eventually banned in 1977 due to findings that it caused cancer in animals and sterility in humans.

The jury found that Dole failed to provide the six workers with information or protective gear, thus maliciously harming them.

See also here.

The true history of Dole, banana plantations, chemical pesticides and human suffering: here.

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