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Dole Won't Pay Nicaraguan Banana Workers $97 Million

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A federal judge in Miami ruled that $97 million ordered paid by Dole Food Inc. to 150 Nicaraguan workers who claim to have suffered sterility and other injuries due to pesticide cannot be upheld in the U.S.

The injuries allegedly stem from use of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) pesticide on Dole banana farms in Nicaragua in the 1970s.

Wikipedia says that in 1979 the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned use of DBCP due to its harmful effects on humans, including sterility.

Nicaraguan courts tried the case under a 2001 statute designed to litigate "injury claims against foreign corporations by banana workers and presumes the pesticide dibromochloropropane causes sterility and other injuries," according to the LA Times.

Short Order could not reach Steven Marks, the Miami lawyer representing the Nicaraguan workers, for immediate comment. A secretary told us he was not in the office, and his assistant's line went straight to voicemail.

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