Last week, a relieved Juan Dominguez provided us with a closing letter from The State Bar Of California confirming his innocence in the banana fraud case. The letter states that Dominguez is free of all “allegations of professional misconduct”, and that the matter is closed.
Thus, the State Bar has determined that Dole’s allegations against Dominguez of fraudulent activities were without basis. These allegations by Dole were devastating for Dominguez’s work and reputation, and the fact that the State Bar has determined that these allegations lacked merit is more evidence of the injustice not only brought upon Dominguez, but also to the thousands of affected banana workers.
In 2007, Dole was found liable for causing six Nicaraguan banana workers to have been sterilized by Dole’s use of the pesticide DBCP and the jury found that Dole acted with malice, fraud and/or oppression. One year later, anonymous Dole witnesses stated that several workers in two upcoming cases had never worked on banana farms and that this alleged fraud had infected all Nicaraguan banana suits. Dole successfully spread their version of the story to international media, which was possible due to a court order protecting the identity of the witnesses, making their stories impossible to double check. Several media articles stated that Dominguez not only risked losing his license, but also “possible prison time”. See LA Times from May, 2009 »
No criminal charges, however, were ever pursued against Dominquez and he was cleared by the California State Bar of any wrongdoing.
A longer story about Dominguez can be found in this press release:
- California State Bar Vindicates Attorney Juan Dominguez
It also includes a Spanish version.