Dole Food Company, Inc. Announces Los Angeles
Superior Court Vacates Judgment and Dismisses
Fraudulent Lawsuit Brought by Nicaraguans
Claiming to Have Been Banana Workers
July 16, 2010 05:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced
that the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed Tellez v. Dole, the last remaining lawsuit brought by Nicaraguan
plaintiffs claiming to have been banana workers on Dole-contracted farms in Nicaragua during the 1970s. The
dismissal came as a result of the Court’s finding that plaintiffs and their representatives engaged in “blatant fraud,
witness tampering, and active manipulation.”
In dismissing this lawsuit, the Court vacated the earlier $1.58 million judgment against Dole in favor of four of the 12
plaintiffs claiming sterility from DBCP exposure while allegedly working on Dole-contracted farms.
This result was the culmination of hearings conducted by the Court in response to the July 7, 2009 order issued to
plaintiffs by the California Second District Court of Appeal directing them to show cause why this $1.58 million
judgment should not be vacated and judgment be entered in Dole’s favor on the grounds that the judgment was
procured through fraud.
Issuing her ruling in court today, Justice Victoria Chaney stated that plaintiffs did not devise this fraud on their own.
“It is not reasonable to conclude that 14,000” claimants were made sterile by DBCP. “Some or all of the claimants
have brought fraudulent claims.” The Court explained that there had to be – and found that there was – a
coordinated effort “to bring fraudulent claims to our courts” by plaintiffs’ attorneys. Los Angeles attorney Juan
Dominguez “was and is actively involved in activating and perpetuating this fraud and scheme on the Court,” ruled
Justice Chaney also dismissed plaintiffs’ contention that Dole bribed several witnesses, adding that “this Court is not