Posted Nov 06, 2007 12:30 am CST
A California jury has awarded $3.3 million to six Central American laborers who say they suffered health problems as a result of a pesticide used by the American company in the 1970s on the banana plantation on which they worked.
However, another six laborers among the plaintiffs in the groundbreaking case received nothing, reports the Associated Press. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury found that Dole Fresh Fruit Co., whose predecessor operated the plantation, as well as Dow Chemical Co. and Amvac Chemical Corp., which manufactured the pesticide, concealed from workers the known danger that it could make them sterile.
As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, the case reportedly is the first to be brought in a U.S. court concerning potential claims by thousands of foreign banana workers. As such, it could help set a precedent allowing foreign workers to sue in the United States for injuries.