Sept 2 Hundreds of banana farmers from Central
America and South America will again have their day in court,
after a U.S. appeals court on Friday revived their lawsuits
accusing several companies of sickening them by using a toxic
By an 11-0 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said
a Delaware judge erred in dismissing claims by 228 farmers from
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Panama, after a different
judge in Louisiana had rejected the same claims.
The defendants include several large fruit and chemical
companies, among them Chiquita Brands International, Del Monte
Fresh Produce, Dow Chemical, Occidental Chemical and Shell Oil.
In litigation dating to 1993, farmers blamed the defendants'
use from the 1960s to 1980s of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) in
pesticides for causing health problems including sterility,
birth defects and an elevated risk of cancer. Most uses of the
pesticide were banned in the United States in 1977.
Lawyers for the companies did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan