March 17, 2011

Juan Dominguez Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing By State Bar

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:44 pm

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.


Read more
A longer story about Dominguez can be found in this press release:

It also includes a Spanish version.


  1. How can I get a Hardcopy of this article?

    Comment by Isabel ostertag — March 18, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  2. Hi Isabel, we just updated this article with a PDF from Eworldwire. Should be perfect for printing!

    Comment by admin — March 29, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  3. This letter does NOT clear him. Your article is false. The letter says the State Bar had declined to take further action. It does NOT say there was no evidence to support Dole’s allegations, and it does NOT “confirm” Dominguez’s “innocence,” as you say. What do Dominguez and his supporters have against the truth? “Facts are stubborn things.” Wise words.

    Comment by guest — March 31, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  4. Not only does this Dole Company make me sick, they make the human society feel unsecure and scared to work for any company. What the company Dole did was more than fraud, even more than sterily men, they killed the hopes of familys. THEY KILLED THE LIFE OF THOSE WHO LIVE IN POVERTY THANKS TO THIS. DOLE IS A COMPANY that does NOT CARE for your well being, ALL THEY CARE IS FOR THE WELL BEING OF THEIR COMPANY AND THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS. I support Mr. Juan Dominguez, there is one truth and that will always win, the truth of those who have suffered due to this company!

    Comment by We The PEOPLE — March 31, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  5. The letter states that it does not WARRANT further action…kind of like when someone makes a non-factual, ridiculous statement that doesn’t even warrant a reply or an iota of your time.
    “Fact are stubborn things”…quote from the same attorney that stated that “giving just one dollar to the banana workers would be a stain on the ‘good’ honor of Dole” right before the jury awarded the Plaintiffs approximately $6 MILLION because their sterility claim not only warranted compensation but also proved that Dole acted with malice.

    Comment by xicana — March 31, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  6. You stated above :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. I think Dole was absoultey in the wrong. I refuse to purchase any banannas or fruit made by Dole.

    Comment by rob — April 2, 2011 @ 4:22 am

  7. Can anyone say “Boycott”?

    Comment by Dan — April 5, 2011 @ 4:04 am

  8. […] – […]

    Pingback by About Bananas, Ethics and Consumption | to. wa. - walking on the insight road (and not halfway there). — June 7, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  9. I think it’s pretty obvious what happened here. Dole had a letter drawn up to secure their preciou$ poi$on even after it was recalled & banned then they kept spraying it knowing full well it was some of the nastiest sh-t imaginable on earth, but it gave them huge profits.

    Wow, big surprise coming from a big corporation….forgive my complete and utter absence of shock.

    Why the prosecution got such flaky plaintiffs, and evidence is beyond me. A big WTF on that one.

    Comment by Steve — June 26, 2011 @ 5:40 am

  10. The strategy used by big corporations of alleging fraud on the part of plaintiffs who have been injured by the actions of these corporations’ negligence (or, in this case, knowingly using a pesticide banned in the US due to its devastating effects on human health) is always seen in these types of cases for one reason: if all evidence points toward the big corporation as the source of the damages of which the plaintiffs complain, and there are no other viable defenses to be raised, then what is a defense attorney worth his or her six figures to do? Why of course. Locate some “secret witnesses,” pay them a month’s salary (not in US dollars, of course!), and tell them to “tell the judge what REALLY happened.” All that is takes is one of these “secret witnesses” to make a case fall apart faster than you can say “bananas”!

    Comment by IRunThis — September 2, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

  11. Pardon the typos in the previous post. In response to Guest, you’re right; the letter doesn’t confirm Mr. Dominguez’s “innocence.” But in a court of law (and in a state bar proceeding), there must be EVIDENCE to support the allegations made by the party moving for the sanction, etc. Since even the BAR (in an administrative-type proceeding, which is not going to require anything near the evidence required in a court proceeding) did not see fit to penalize Mr. Dominguez, there could not have been much, if anything, to those allegations. I wonder what law firm/big corp. YOU work for??? It can’t be that you’ve never heard of big companies getting away this sort of thing. Oh no. I mean, while we all dutifully pay our taxes every year, for example, GE got to pay…wait for it…ZERO DOLLARS IN INCOME TAXES!!!! You need to get a grip on reality, GUEST.

    Comment by IRunThis — September 2, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  12. Excellent result. As a someone who was subject to bully boy tactics by big boy firms in the form of a libel suit against me, I can attest to the damage and the strain it causes. I was innocent but I had to be put through the mill. And so did my family and friends. And campaign. Juan, and your team (for without your team you would be alone) you are amazing. Keep plugging away, dont let the b******s grind you down. Tim

    Comment by Tim Sander — November 26, 2011 @ 3:24 am

  13. Standard/Dole treated those workers the same as the insects. Does Dole own the courts and the LA Times as well?

    Comment by Just Watched Bananas — December 23, 2011 @ 4:02 am

  14. So now what happens?

    Comment by Susan — February 16, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

  15. […] andra arbetare att utkräva ersättning. Dole hade lyckligtvis fel igen. I mars förra året friades Juan Dominguez från dessa […]

    Pingback by Big Boys Goes Bananas!* « minsky_iona — March 2, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  16. American corporations have operated offshore with impunity, especially in poor/3rd-world countries from their earliest existence. This case was a threat to all of them. Should it succeed, all of the big multinationals would be fearful of their nasty chickens coming home to roost.
    Doles actions were exactly what the big 3 auto manufacturers did pre-Nader-they calculated that it was cheaper to pay off the occasional claim than to install seat belts. Ethical corporations is an oxymoron. Profits trump human lifeThe in their world every time. The only way to beat them is to hit them in the pocket book.

    Comment by Patrick — May 5, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  17. Lets all just buy organic for good measure!

    Comment by kimberly dean — July 29, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  18. Keep up the good works. When I think of all the Dole stuuf I have eaten during my liftime. I WILL NO LONGER BUY DOLE PRODUCTS ! Where can we find a “healthy banana”?

    Comment by Lillian T. — August 13, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  19. i will not ever buy Dole products ever again. And I strongly believe that Mr. Dominguez is a honest lawjer.

    Comment by Laura — August 16, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  20. Read through the letter and I have to agree that Mr. Dominguez was cleared. When your own professional college has deemed there is no more reason to pursue matter, to me it is an admission there was no wrongdoing.

    As for “guest”, I have a question: do you work for Dole or their lawyers? If you only log in as a guest and then try to distort fact, that smells of PR damage control.

    Comment by Newvelaric — August 29, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  21. I admire and support Mr. Dominguez
    This is a fiht for justice between the giant and the powerfull against the small and defensless.
    Justice will prevail.
    Down with Dole

    Comment by Lucio — April 23, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  22. No more dole for us, Thats for sure! Money does not buy everything!

    Comment by Hugo — July 26, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

  23. Just watched the documentary on Netflix. Then hoped straight onto my laptop to search the outcome of the allegations levied against Mr.Dominguez. So relieved that the truth prevailed.

    Comment by Nadine — March 24, 2014 @ 3:00 am

  24. This documentary was an eye opener and I will do my due diligence to try to never buy Dole bananas/products again. There’s a word for people like Dole it’s called..BULLY!

    Comment by RMAK — September 5, 2014 @ 12:50 am

  25. In exercise of my power as a consurmer I will never buy any DOLE products again…it is not that imposible to do, and I will pass this information around.
    Why should our money go to support this kind of corporation?

    Comment by Patricia — November 12, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

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