LOS ANGELES, California - September 16, 2010
FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST DOLE BY COLOMBIAN PLAINTIFFS DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE
Dole Food Company, Inc. announced today that the Los Angeles County Superior Court has dismissed the lawsuit brought by 185 Colombian plaintiffs, claiming damages against Dole from alleged payments to Colombian paramilitary organizations. The lawsuit, Emperatriz Marina Mendoza Gomez, et al. v. Dole Food Company, et.al., was originally filed as Juana Perez 1A v. Dole Food Company, Inc.in April 2009.
In dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice on September 14, 2010, the Court ordered that Dole is entitled to judgments against the 185 plaintiffs and that the plaintiffs shall recover nothing from Dole.
“From the outset, Dole has adamantly denied the blatantly false allegations in this lawsuit,” said C. Michael Carter, Dole’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “It was based on the self-motivated declaration of a convicted Colombian terrorist in the custody of the Colombian government, which the Court had found was ‘inherently unreliable due to the unique circumstances in which [he] finds himself.’ This lawsuit was grossly irresponsible,” Carter said.
Dole is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.