Another day in court for Dole Food Co

The legal case we followed in BANANAS!* is still ongoing. Our film closed when the jury came down with a ground breaking verdict. Dole was found liable with malice and ordered to pay punitive damages to six of the workers. Later, Dole appealed and managed to overturn all the verdicts. A new lawyer, Steve Condie, took on the workers appeal on a pro-bono basis. Now it’s time for a new round in court.

Read the full brief here (PDF, 17 mb):
Appellant’s Opening Brief (redacted version)

It’s an interesting read, Condie highlights the use of so called "John Doe" witnesses in Nicaragua. The case now has a new name: JOSE ANTONIO ROJAS LAGUNA, et al. vs Dole Food CO.

See also:
Two years ago Fredrik Gertten interviewed Steve Condie in court. See the video interview here »

22 Comments

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I just watched “Bananas” on iTunes. Great film! Mine is now an officially Dole-free household, as well as Hershey-free and Nestle-free for their lack of initiative in ensuring that their cocoa supply chains are free from the worst forms of child labour. I think that when we choose to purchase goods produced by these companies, we’re saying, “We don’t care how you make your money, we don’t care how you treat your workers, we will help your business thrive and support you because your products satisfy our tastes and lifestyle.” And then, are we not also guilty for disregarding the rights and dignity of others, in favour of fulfilling our own desires? Like Dole has done?

I have just managed to watch the documentary regarding the legal issues and must say I am appalled a major international company can act so callously.

I for one shall never by there goods until they have a major change in attitude towards there workers and those working in the public interest of free speech. I look forward to know watching Bananas.

The comments above indicate the reason why Dole brought the appeal and tried to stop the film. People are basing their actions upon the scenes in the film with no regard to the truth of the matter. People seem to believe all they see in movies if the term “documentary” is attached to the title. Dole very well may have improperly used DBCP and, if so, they should pay for that misuse. But to make your household a “Dole-free household” is absurd in the extreme. It’s like reacting to the way tires are manufactured by stating that my cars will now be “tire-free cars”.

God bless you, guys. All the good you do will be returned to you, sooner or later. Keep fighting for the Truth and the Justice.

I really admire Mr. Dominguez he is an example for everyone
A profesional who fights to defends te weak against the abuse of the powerfull
Hopefully more workers will have their compensation, but the physical damage can never be repaired
However, this companies will have to think in the future before abusing those who makre them grow THE WORKERS

It appears Margareth is an astroturfer working for Dole. Hey Margareth, if Dole improperly used DBCP (which in fact is a nice way to say they used pesticides or poisons that actually KILLED the workers) and have thus far been able to get out of paying any claims since they can afford better lawyers, then why shouldn’t people boycott Dole to make them pay by losing money in a different way? And by the way Astroturfer, oops, I mean Margareth, your car tire analogy is lame. They aren’t saying to boycott all bananas, just Dole bananas. So, don’t worry, we won’t have a banana free world, just a Dole free one.

I hope you get these S. O. B.s they deserve it

Wow! Dole has done a great job and ruining their brand name by the way they have handled this. Maybe they need to learn a basic lesson: money can’t buy everything! Use your money wisely Dole and protect your workers and your product = happy customers.

I just watched the Dutch TV show ‘Tegenlicht’ which was about the legal side of getting this movie out. My god.. I felt sick to my stomach realizing the absolute injustice of it all and the fact that Dole got so far with it!! All the best of luck in rounding this up finally. I am going to watch Bananas*, cannot seem to find it on iTunes here in Holland though..

I just watched the Documentary on the movie “Bananas”. Ours will now be another Dole free home. Intimidation and bullying are not acceptable.

GREAT JOB!! Films like these make our world evolve and become a better place…and that´s the sense behind documentary film making. Congrats to Mr Gertten and WG.

keep the good work, another officially Dole-free household.

I have just watches “big boys gone bananer”. All I can say is; there is no smoke without fire - so if Dole goes to such lengths (downright harrassment and threats) trying to conceal the thick smoke eminating from their wrongdoings - then there is bound to be a blazing fire that they do not want the world to know about. In other words; someone at Dole made a giant “booboo” costing lives and health and now they are desperate to cover their arse rather than to do the respectful thing of owning up and facing the music.
Dispicable.
An other Dole-free household.

What a dombo’s thinking that Dole is ok!
Be blind and stay blind, or better: get a job in the plantage with pesticedes and find out yourself the hard way. Never one Dole pesticide hommocide in my house. NEVER!!!

D. Cunningham, it was not Margareth who was astroturfing, it was BOB.

Back on topic, I wish all the best luck to you guys, I just saw the documentary “Big boys gone bananas” which made me aware of the problem. Sick world we are living in. :( I’d hope there would be more people in the world with your courage and endurance in pursuing the truth and justice!

Dear WG,

Just watched BBGB and looking ffwd to seeing your film.

If a global company is coming after you with all the’ve got, you know you’ve found something they don’t want people knowing.
Since it’s usually not the good things they try to hide I can say I’m with you WG, even without seeing Bananas.

Lot’s of respect for the bravery, honesty and taking the risk of such a big and long fight to shed some light on the shady lifes and times of Dole.
Shit is truly bananas!

Ps We had a very good time reading Bobs comment. I didn’t know there was a name for these kind of people I know are behind these kind of comments. There so easy to point you can actually can imagine that they’re ex-CIA or ex politicians. I think Dole should consider hiring scenarists and try to make them astroturfers stop sounding like robots. And make it more fun to point them out. - Oh yeah… and Bob, is your last name Dole by any chance? Cause you’re sure as hell funny!

Just finished the doc BBGB. Now that I am aware of Dole and their tactics I will no longer buy their products. I have eaten their products my whole life and as an adult I continued to buy them for my own family. I will never give them another cent of my money. Should I now expect a box from FedEx filled with threats now that I have exercised my right to free speech???

The both documents BBGB and Bananas came today from the telly here in Finland. Great work on both of those. Keep on filming.

One of the reasons to start the war in Iraq was that the government was using weapons of mass destruction. Dole Company applied DBCP in Central America knowing its harmful effects in humans, they should pay for it such a chemical product can be classified as a weapon of mass destruction. Justice should prevail.

My family will also be free of any Dole, Hershey and Nestle products. After watching the film Bananas I was struck by the power of large corporations. But they can’t control my spending power and the power of people who what to do what is right.

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