Bananas!* At any cost? \ Банани!* На всяка цена? [Eng+Bg sub]

Uploaded by ConspiracyCentralBG on 12.02.2012

People die every day in this community.
The pesticides casted a shadow of death over all of western Nicaragua.
To increase profits and production,
without considering the consequences for the people in the area,
they spread tons of pesticides in the banana plantations.
The plantations do provide work, but they are also the source of slow death.
My father was a hard-working man.
He made an honest living at the banana plantations.
Dad was very active in the struggle for indemnity for the victims of Nemagon.
He always talked about the co-workers who passed away from the side effects.
And he never lost hope.
Your best choice: Juan Jose Dominguez, attorney-at-law
Good morning, law office of Juan Dominguez...
Is it a workers' compensation case or personal injury?
Car accident? Okay...
Hello, William. How are you? I'm Juan Dominguez, the attorney.
Is this your sister? - Hi, pleased to meet you.
Wiilliam, I understand you were hit by an ambulance?
- And it didn't have its sirens on? - No, the lights weren't on, either.
I was knocked out.
- You were alone in the car? - Yes...
- Did you wake up at the hospital? - I woke up at the hospital.
I do not like when other people are exploited.
I've never liked it, since I was a little kid.
I never liked the big guy picking on the little guy.
I became a lawyer because I wanted to represent people that needed help.
We need some doctors to evaluate you. We need to evaluate the records,
and make sure that you're not cheated from this case...
because some doctor misdiagnosed you or under-diagnosed you.
Juan Dominguez has won more than USD 100 million for his clients.
He has received the "Super Lawyer" award three years in a row!
Thanks to him, I received 4.5 million USD.
Hi, I'm Juan Dominguez, your legal counsel for serious accidents.
Ifwe don't win, we don't charge you. That's only fair.
Dominguez is fair and he's needed! Dial 800-818-1818.
I've been a personal injury lawyer, taking on mostly disadvantaged clients
that could never afford a lawyer in their lives.
We take cases on a contingency basis: If I don't win, I don't get paid.
I started advertising the day I opened my law office.
Basically, from day one...
I started in a suite for 400 dollars.
Had a common receptionist and a common waiting room...
And I worked my way up from there.
About fiive years ago, I saw this CNN report from Chinandega
investigating this pesticide, dibromochloropropane, DBCP.
I decided to come down pretty much on an exploratory mission.
To me, personally, this will be the biggest thing I've ever handled.
- What is this? - It's an irrigation pump.
It fed the water and the Nemagon into the cannons.
- The sprinklers inside the plantation? - Yes, up on a turret.
- They sprayed water and Nemagon. - Amixture?
About 600 people worked on this farm. This is where they slept.
The banana plants were just over there.
The spray would enter the dormitory.
And the fumes would envelop the workers who slept here?
The solution dripped down from the roof, too.
We were able to meet with banana workers,
union leaders, local attorneys...
They came to my hotel to seek me out,
because the word got out really fast throughout the province
that someone was here from the US that spoke Spanish
and was actually Latin, and is actually a US lawyer,
and had a decent crew of amiable humanitarian-type workers with him
that were also Latin and spoke Spanish.
It just seemed like we had the calling to get involved.
I've never experienced anything like that in my life.
- Which plantation did you work for? - Candelaria.
- Did you sleep there? - Yes.
Did you work with the machete or put on plastic bags?
I worked with the machete.
And when you were chopping, did liquid drip on your head and clothes?
Yes, the poison was up there because they shot it into the air.
- Yes, with the cannons. - It dripped down from the leaves.
- And it got on your clothes? - Yes.
And the Fumazone got on your body?
There are over 1 0,000 Nicaraguan banana workers
claiming that they have been harmed by DBCP,
known worldwide under the names Nemagon and Fumazone.
That's the irrigation system. And the cannon.
This is the San Pablo plantation.
It sprayed the camp as well.
This is the Candelaria plantation.
Families lived inside the farm area.
Are these the dormitories?
This is a Nemagon barrel. And Fumazone.
That's a barrel down there. And one more.
There's another one... Fumazone.
The Dow Chemical brand. Fumazone barrels made into a stove.
DBCP was produced by the Dow Chemical Co.
Early on, it was known to cause severe side effects:
cancers, kidney, and other grave health problems.
In the 70s, it was banned in the US for causing sterility,
but Standard Fruit, now the Dole Food Company,
kept using it in the banana plantations around the world.
And now, 35 years later, we fiind that the banana workers are sterile.
- Do you know how to read and write? - No, I can barely sign my name.
- Do you speak any other languages? - I can't even write.
- Do you have a phone number? - No.
- How many children do you have? - I don't have any.
But you have a woman? So what happened?
I was a young man in '7 1 and I saw this girl...
I was raised in a religious way.
In 1971, I saw this girl...
And during the last months of that year...
- Did you have any children with her? - No, I abstained.
Toward the end of that year, we got engaged.
I made a promise, and went to fiind work.
That's when I came here to work, from '71 to '74.
You know, in this case you've got real poor people...
...disadvantaged, very poorly educated,
against corporations that are very powerful, wealthy, knowledgeable...
And the odds are just really against these clients.
Please empty your pockets. Your shirt pocket, too.
- That's all there is. - Okay.
So here's your bottle. You know what to do?
I'll be next door so just let me know. Even if you can't manage.
I've just received the lab results.
You are suffering from a condition called oligospermia.
You are almost completely sterile.
Is that all?
It's practically impossible for you to father children.
I am interviewing a group of plaintiffs,
and during these interviews it has become apparent
that up to this day, they had no knowledge
that this chemical is the reason that they go
from woman... to woman...
to woman... to woman...
...without having children.
There are afflicted people who think that their women have betrayed them.
But I tell them, let me correct you:
It is not the woman who betrayed you, it's the chemical.
And to this day, the corporations have refused to take responsibility.
They suppress the dangerous effects, and their motive is money.
Predatory capitalism...
And the truth of the matter is: these deeds are horrifiic.
I will not turn my back on the violations
committed by these gigantic corporations.
I'm honored to fiight for you.
And we'll win in their country. With their own judges,
their own lawyers, their own jury, and their own law!
Because UNlTED, WE WlN!
I've been dialing... calling the cell phones. I've been calling the landline.
I've been calling Roberto Tercero. I've been trying to lM.
I've tried the Voice Over lP. I can't get a hold of anybody.
Get me somebody in Nicaragua I can talk to, so I can get things done.
Thank you.
It's been fiive and a half years I've been involved in this project...
And we've spent a lot of money.
No law firm has had success in trying a case in the US.
We're the fiirst.
I need 47...
I need 47, please.
I just set it on the couch. Do you want an individual copy or the binder?
Individual copies. Stapled, posted, and stating the exhibit number.
Duane is the best lawyer I've ever known.
Hands down. He's a lawyer's lawyer.
He defends municipalities, city governments,
against corporations that have polluted underground water,
drinking water for citizens.
He handles opposition that is just monumental.
I know I was up against some of the biggest multinational corporations
in the world, not just the US.
So I partnered with the best I can partner with,
and that's Duane Miller.
We're in a position as lawyers to bring pressure on witnesses
to settle the claims and...
...and without lawyers' involvement l don't see any way Dole would ever pay
any meaningful money. They certainly haven't in the past couple of decades.
So, by holding corporations accountable
ultimately, you may make them responsible.
- That was a great pitch... - Wait until you hear the next one.
It's going to be a long week.
We're tackling two giants,
that are basically throwing all their weight against two small law fiirms.
So it's going to be at a high, high cost,
in the context of putting all our fiinances and resources
and employees, and you name it, to bear.
They're thumping at us as hard as they can. They're big, and they can thump.
And we can thump back...
But they have basically unlimited resources and money.
Back in the matter of "Tellez vs Dole"... Be seated.
312852. The record should reflect that we now have all 1 2 jurors present.
Duane Miller is present for the plaintiffs.
Rick McKnight, James Teater, Dave DiMeglio, Erin Burke,
Michael Carter are here for Dole.
When I talked to you in the jury selection process,
many of you said, because you had prior experience in other cases,
you said: "l want to decide it based on the evidence."
"l want to decide it based on the facts." And I asked one of you:
"Do you think people have the right to defend their honest beliefs??"
And you said: "Oh, sure". And the rest of you said "Yes, we agree with that."
Dole has hired Rick McKnight as their lead trial lawyer.
One of the most successful and well- paid defense attorneys in the country.
Defendants don't have the burden of proof, of showing no causation.
Plaintiffs have the burden of proof
to show that they were exposed to DBCP and it caused their injury.
It's the plaintiffs' burden, and they're accusing my clients
and the people that worked at Standard Fruit of bad conduct
and disbelieving their fiirm convictions about the safe handling
and the appropriate use of this chemical.
Sir, please state and spell your fiirst and last name for the record.
David DeLorenzo, DA-V-l-D DE-L-O-R-E-N-Z-O.
Now I want to ask you some questions about your own background.
And a little bit about the background of the Dole companies.
How did you get interested in agriculture?
I've always had some sort of an interest.
My dad was a farmer on the East Coast,
so I've had a background in farming.
- Why were you moving to Nicaragua? - The position was offered to me...
It was a new division and the company knew I wanted to move to Latin America.
- How did you fiind the people? - They're great.
They have the reputation of being the friendliest people in Central America.
They're wonderful people, hard workers, and very friendly people.
And I understand you met one special person there.
Yes, I was married in Nicaragua.
- When did you meet Mrs. DeLorenzo? - The fiirst night I was there...
We don't want to know any more...
This is kind of the end product we produce basically all over the world.
Make sure, if they're real bananas, that they go home with you.
They're packed down in the tropics in boxes like this.
You said that Standard Fruit had been operating in Latin America...
For over a hundred years, yes.
Why were they just now going into Nicaragua?
Well, we were invited by the Nicaraguan government,
to see ifwe would invest there. The type of operations we do
are desirable for the countries, because, unlike most multinationals,
we don't work in the capital cities, we work out in the rural countryside
where there's usually less employment. So the history's been in every place,
is that we become an impetus for growth. We bring infrastructure,
we bring a lot of better practices with us: health care, schools, etc...
In Chinandega, the champion of agricultural progress, General Somoza,
arrives to inspect the marvelous results of modern science
on the banana plantations run by the Standard Fruit Company,
who have launched a major initiative
and transformed the farms with improved methods.
More puddles...
And it kept dripping and dripping.
This is Cable No. 1 at the Elisa plantation.
The bananas run on the cable and he pulls them.
He is barefoot. He had to take off his shoes to be able to pull the bananas.
That's what it looks like after irrigation?
Yes, that was the normal state. After they sprayed, there were puddles.
Mr. DeLorenzo, what is your current position with Dole?
I am President and Chief Operating Officer of Dole.
Are you also associated with the Board of Directors?
- I'm on the Board of Directors. - What is your position on the Board?
I'm just a Board member.
In the past, you have been Viice Chair of the Board.
You've held some of the highest positions there are in the company.
- And you do today? - Yes, I do.
I've been trying cases for more than 30 years as a lawyer.
And this is the fiirst time I've had the President and CEO
of a signifiicant corporation
on the stand, testifying live in front of a jury. It doesn't happen often.
As the manager of the Nicaraguan division, did you know
the amount of DBCP that was considered dangerous by the government?
I probably knew the statistics. I may not recall them,
but basically what we were told was, if you could smell it,
there was a kind of dangerous level and you didn't want to be
spending any time in plantation that you could smell it.
It's also unusual that that particular person was involved
in supervising the workers in Nicaragua that were injured.
So we had all these problems in Nicaragua,
and despite them, he was promoted.
Did you have a medical toxicologist
that was employed by your fiirm at the time?
No, I don't believe we did. We rely on the manufacturers
who do work with the government in these issues, they're specialists.
Were you aware that the US Government took the position
that any contact of DBCP with human skin could cause sperm damage?
Yes, certainly after 1 977, we did, yes.
So, did you start a program to launder workers' clothing
that was contaminated with DBCP?
Well, I don't think we started a program to launder workers' clothing.
We did not, and do not, believe that workers were contaminated with DBCP,
because we did not believe there was any DBCP in the farms.
- Did it all disappear? - Yes, it gets drenched into the soil.
Or evaporates.
Mr. DeLorenzo, you got a report that ten out of ten workers
checked in Costa Rica were sterile.
And when you got that report in 1 978,
the Nicaraguan division continued to use DBCP unchanged
in 1978, in 1979, in 1980. Correct?
That's correct. We continued using DBCP in Honduras and Nicaragua
following the Costa Rican incident for, I think, very good reasons.
As our people went out and talked to people, talked to the doctors,
talked to the teachers, talked to the workers...
I recall no report back that we had infertility anyplace.
And that's what gave us a great deal of comfort about using the chemical.
Exactly... It's the hammer that causes the settlement.
But the reality is that this case needs to be tried all the way
because thousands of people are waiting
for this to be the "bellwether", the model, so things go all the way,
and everyone knows how the other ones are going to go...
That's good, man.
We look at this as a bellwether case, because the plaintiffs in this case
are 1 2 "chopperos", which means "machete wielders".
They're not the people who necessarily stayed the longest in the plantation.
They're not the people that irrigate this chemical,
which means that they have the least exposure to this chemical.
If the juryfinds that they are sterilized by this chemical...
What does that mean for the other ones that were there longer?
That slept there? That actually applied, handled, the chemical?
- Could you please play the video? - Lights out, please.
It will be marked as "Court's exhibit 19".
- Any objection to that? - No, Your Honor.
None other than as previously noted, Your Honor.
We had hours and hours of hearings
fiighting over what portion of that fiilm would be shown to the jury.
They didn't like the shots that showed men walking without shoes,
barefoot men walking through banana plantations.
They didn't like the shots of humans being used as beasts of burden
to pull bananas on a cable.
They didn't like the amount ofwater that's used.
The puddles, the muddy conditions,
which involves a greater potential for exposure to pesticides,
because if the chemicals don't go into the ground,
they are above the ground, where human beings are.
What job did you have when you were working?
Making holes for the planting.
Another job I had was cutting the banana leaves.
Would that cause you to come into contact with the banana plant?
It was an iron rod with a knife at the end. And we used that to cut the plant.
Would your clothing get wet? Why?
Since the plantation was humid, we got wet when we entered the area.
During the time that you were working at Candelaria, were you ever told
to stay out of an area that had been treated with chemicals?
Were you ever told to leave an area
if you smelled an odor of DBCP?
Did you have any information at all
that there was a chemical at work that could affect your fertility
during the time you were working there?
They never told us anything about that.
We worked wherever they told us to.
- Would your clothes get wet? - Yes. It was falling from above.
What would come down on you?
When they fumigated, the water would fall upon our clothes.
And also when we were loading the bananas onto our shoulders,
the water would fall upon us as well.
Did your employer ever give you clothing to wear there?
Did they ever give you any clothing
that was supposed to keep chemicals away from your body?
No. My clothes had to dry on my body. I changed when I got home.
We only removed them when it was time for bed.
We'd put them back on again later.
- Did you ever notice an unusual odor? - Yes, of course.
Did anyone ever tell you that if you could smell that chemical...
-...that it could hurt you? - No.
We have Juan Jose Dominguez on the line
in this episode of our monthly show for the pesticide victims.
Radio Caribe is broadcasting as well. Good afternoon, over to you.
Good afternoon, listeners throughout Nicaragua.
The first court case with Nicaraguan plaintiffs has started here in LA.
The opening statements were delivered on July 1 9.
There were many journalists from the US and around the world.
It is looking good...
We are engaged in battle, and my associates are busy in the war room.
I didn't know my husband had died. I was in Managua, getting treatment.
Two days after his death, I came home.
I was so worried when I couldn't fiind him...
Then I noticed the flowers, but little did I know what awaited me.
We spent 36 years together.
We met at the plantation. He was my boss. He told us what to do.
We started dating when I was 17.
My fiirst pregnancy resulted in an underweight little girl...
I was told that she was not going to survive. She died 42 days later.
The next baby died inside me at six months and had to be removed.
Then the doctor told me: "Next time you get pregnant,
you must stop working if you want to have a healthy child."
So that's what I did, and I had Byron. And Byron came out healthy, thank God.
Since there was nobody to look after us,
our parents took us to the plantation. We watched them work.
My father would say: "This is very hard work."
"l want you to get an education. Don't ever try to get a job here."
"It's like a mine fiield here. It's dangerous."
"All this pesticide irrigation, we are absorbing it."
"Pesticides are made for plants, not for us."
"You will die if you work here," he told us when we were very young.
"But I have to be here, to provide for myfamily."
...we expect the verdict to be delivered in September.
Naturally, we will continue to bring you updates,
and give you more news from this landmark court case.
It has been a great pleasure to update you, as you deserve.
Mr. DeLorenzo, I'd like to show you Exhibit 6 for identifiication.
This is a document on Dow Chemical letterhead, datedAugust 24, 1977,
by Mr. Hall, Product Sales Manager, Dow, to "customers".
"On August 11, 1977, Dow suspended sales and production of Fumazone.
We took this action as a result of preliminary evidence
indicating the compound may cause sterility.
Present testing indicates some Dow Fumazone production workers
in our Magnolia, Arkansas plant are currently sterile.
We urge that all Fumazone products be returned to Dow."
- Do you see that, sir? - Yes, I do.
Now when your firm received this in 1977,
you didn't return the DBCP that was in your inventory, did you?
- No, we did not. - You kept it and later, used it.
Even though Dow was recommending that you return it to them?
In this letter, they were, yes.
Did it occur to you that maybe it would be best not to use DBCP
until you were sure your workers wouldn't be affected,
instead of waiting for the evidence to pile up?
I think it did occur to us and I think there was big debate within the company
and a study within the company as to whether it was safe to proceed.
Well, the debate within the company didn't last very long, did it?
Because within days of Dow suspending sales of DBCP,
your fiirm was writing to Dow demanding more product. Correct?
Yes, we told them we'd like to continue using it.
Oh, you didn't just say you would like to...
You told them theywere in breach of a contract. Correct?
We told them that we expected them to continue delivering to us.
Now, did you have enough information at that point in time,
a couple of days after they said they were suspending the sale of DBCP,
to confiidently make a decision
that what you were doing wouldn't hurt anybody?
The company believed it had enough information, I presume, yes.
At least to go on with the purchase.
Your Honor, Exhibit 9 for identifiication.
It's dated September 26, 1977. It's on Standard Fruit Company letterhead.
"Standard Fruit Company agrees to indemnify and hold Dow harmless
from any claim by a third party for injury or loss
against Dow resulting from the continued use of the DBCP product."
- You see that? You were aware of it? - Yes.
If there were no problems, there wouldn't be any need
for this particular provision, would there?
Los Angeles, for me, is home. It's where I grew up.
One of the things I like about LA is that it's a multi-cultural,
multi-ethnic society, which I think is very good.
Ifyou go to the big law fiirms, there was an article in LATiimes
that shows that there's a huge disproportionate number
of lawyer members of big law fiirms that are Anglc-American.
There's just hardly no minorities.
But if you're in a fiight, a David versus Goliath type of fiight,
and you don't like being David, this is not for you.
When I came to grammar school here from Cuba,
I was one of the very few kids that spoke Spanish.
They would come and pull me out of classrooms:
"Can we have little Juan Dominguez over here??"
They would take me to the principal's offiice and I would translate for moms
and kids that were matriculating into the school system,
or that had disciplinary problems, or whatever.
This picture here is when we got here to the United States.
I was 10 years old.
When I left Cuba, it took about three days to go from house to house
visiting relatives and friends of my parents,
saying goodbye to my cousins and myfamily all along the island,
all the way until we got to Varadero that evening.
Aplane took us to Miami. And as soon as I got out of the plane in Miami,
I got on my knees and kissed the ground.
At 10, I knew that I was just happy to get out.
I drove a black one fiirst.
Black is more incognito, does not cause much attention.
But then the Cuban in me came out, and says: I got go loud, I got to get red.
So it's like, I've got to be all out there, man.
If it's going to have a loud motor and be a Ferrari, it's got to be red.
It would be a crime to spend that much money and not get the red one.
Always tell the truth, it's important.
If you don't remember events from 35 years ago,
just say: "l don't remember." It's only human.
The translator will be at my offiice
to go through all of your prior testimonies.
And you can talk to us lawyers if you have any concerns or questions.
I'm telling you this to help relieve your stress.
There's a lot of pressure on us.
We have to do our best to serve our fellow banana workers back home.
And we feel a lot of strain to do our best.
Because people back home know we are here.
We are fiighting for them, and for ourselves too.
But I don't want you to think like that. You will only feel more stressed.
It's far better if you only think about yourself.
You are you, and you are here to tell us what you know.
If you don't know, don't answer. Provide only the information you have.
We will be asking the questions. You just tell the truth, that's all.
- Just play ball! - Exactly...
And the ball in play is your presence there and so, with a little smile...
Because in terms of humanity the Nicaraguans beat the Americans.
Thank you very much.
And if this humanity registers with the jury, they will like it a lot.
- This is Mr. Ruedes, right? - No, Your Honor.
It's Mr. Morales Mendoza, one of the plaintiffs in this case.
Before you got married to your wife,
did the two of you talk about whether you wanted to have children?
- Did she want to have children? - Yes.
- Did you? - I did, too. Yes.
Did you ever talk about the number of children you would like to have?
Yes. We hoped to have about four children.
When you learned that you were sterile, how did that make you feel?
If you need a tissue, there are some up there.
It's painful not to have anyone to give me love...
And to give my love to in return.
I feel very sad as an old man to realize that I have no one.
Sometimes I cry at night at my ranch.
Why do you cry?
Because I realize that I am alone. I live alone, I go to bed alone.
In my family, there are ten siblings...
And all of us get together with my father and mother.
I don't have the opportunity to be with my children,
Iike my dad does, with us.
Were you the oldest, youngest...?
I am the eldest.
That's all I have, Your Honor.
Sir, let's go to a different topic; your work on the banana farm.
- You never applied DBCP, correct? - No.
And sir, did you ever smell anything when the plants were wet?
Isn't it true that you never smelled anything when the plants were wet?
Can we go to page 113, lines 5 to 7 of the deposition, please?
Did you ever smell anything when the plants were wet?
That was your testimony in a deposition you gave under oath in this case.
- Correct? - Yes.
You're not changing that testimony now, are you?
Are you trying to change your testimony now?
In your deposition, you testifiied in response to a question from me
that you did try to have children.
Well, I'm not too sure.
I have memory problems. I do.
Do you recall that there were two women
who claimed that you were the father of their children?
I do not remember.
Didn't you get Odesta Flores pregnant? And didn't her baby subsequently die?
Yes, she got pregnant, but that was after I left her.
You just had discussions with Mr. Miller,
and he inquired about your feelings when you were told you were sterile.
I have some good news for you. Do you know that you are not sterile?
What's that?
You're not sterile. Didn't anyone tell you?
For more than 30 years, you drank a lot of alcohol,
so much so that it made you sick.
When you were with Francisca in 1984,
did you have problems with your erection?
- Yes. - Had you ever noticed...
...that your testicles were smaller than they used to be?
She testifiied that you had complications
with your gender identity.
No. I am a man.
Sir, do you understand
that you've given two different stories under oath?
- Could you explain that? - Yes.
You told one story here today
and a different story in your deposition,
with respect to your son. Correct?
Sir, you know you have a claim here, before this jury,
that you are sterile and have always been sterile. Correct?
Yes, but I couldn't help it. I love my son as if he was my own.
In my heart I was unable to say: "No, he is not my son."
So I said: "Yes, he's my son."
I know he's not mine. But he's the only son I have.
So I say: "He is my son". And I'll say it here and anywhere.
After 35 years, we are entering a new phase of the Nemagon struggle.
As you know, we are fighting a monster.
And this monster's strategy is to divide the afflicted workers,
and enlist dishonest leaders who aren 't even lawyers
and have only one ambition: to pay less.
As a lawyer, it is my duty to share this information
so you may arm yourselves against getting conned.
In Honduras, they recently got away with
paying afflicted workers only 300 dollars.
So all you listeners out there: "Don't sign anything"!
Don't settle for small amounts like 300 or 1,000 dollars.
And a smile, please.
We are now assembling our second group.
And this group will be even stronger than the fiirst one.
I don't want the corporations to take advantage of our clients
due to their lack of information. So you have to keep them informed.
Did you come here from the US to help only the 1 3 plaintiffs,
or will you help all the victims?
The goal is to fiind a settlement for everyone.
And the strategy is to continue hitting them with small groups.
I can see the day when we reach a global settlement.
The only way to get there is to maintain pressure and continue winning cases.
Every time a banana worker who was exposed to this chemical dies...
And scientifiic proof exists that this chemical does cause death.
...then it's one more victory for Dole Food Company.
Every death is another victory.
It is a great shame on the face of Justice, and to me personally.
We have decided to base our lawsuit on sterility.
Not on death, not on cancers, kidney failure,
birth defects, testicular cancer,
or other conditions, even though there is research that supports it.
But the fiindings with regard to sterility are indisputable.
This is bigger than just a case.
This is the very fiirst time ever
that agricultural workers from a third-world nation
are heard in a United States court.
These big corporations never expected this to happen.
They thought they could get away with it, like they always have.
So, if we are successful in this case,
we will have created a precedent for other workers to sue in the US
and vindicate their rights.
If I can contribute something to the legal profession,
opening a door for future litigation regarding global commerce
and people claiming their rights when they're exploited...
If I can contribute that to the law, I'll be very satisfiied.
More so than leaving a statue or a building behind.
Should be August 18, 1977...
It's going to be... And I need it for argument.
Go to the notes for Claudio Gonzalez.
Are you ready, Daniel?
Let's see here...
Here we go.
...and you've shown really an extraordinary commitment,
and great attention. You've really shown a lot of patience
in listening through a long period of time
And you've been great note-takers.
You've really demonstrated, I think, what is important to us all,
and that is you're the fundamental of our system ofjustice...
Now if this was a car accident case and the plaintiff said:
"Look, I was healthy before, I had two good functioning legs.
The car hit me. It broke my leg. I'm injured."
What's the cause of the broken leg? You can say it was the car.
And before I was fiine, now I'm not.
Well here, you don't have... For some of these plaintiffs,
you don't have any evidence that they were fertile before.
You would think if you were trying to fiind, pull together, some plaintiffs
to bring a case, that you would fiind one where at least you could prove
that he had some fertility beforehand. And then went to the farm
and then was infertile. That's what you'd expect.
That's not what you have here. In fact what you have here
is infertile for half the plaintiffs, close to half the plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs that are infertile before they go to the farm...
And then, of course, are infertile afterwards.
Or, for three, they're fertile beforehand and fertile afterwards.
Inconsistent with the basic causation pattern you would expect.
It's a failure of proof.
You have Morales Mendoza:
"Do you have someone that you consider your son? "
Answer: "Well, that I have a son who was given to me.
Awoman gave a son away. He was 6 months old.
So that's the son we're raising.
He's 27 years old now. That's the one whom we call son."
That's what he told you. Acompletely different story under oath.
You have a liar here.
Rojas Laguna denied that he had a prostate problem in 1987.
His records came in, he admits that he did have a prostrate problem,
and it goes directly to his claim.
These are lies.
And you have so many examples of that with these plaintiffs.
I'm not going to suggest any alternative number to you for damages.
It would be a stain on the reputation
of these people whose beliefs are being challenged
to suggest a dollar in damages.
That would be a stain on the reputation of the people at Standard Fruit
whom I represent. People are entitled to have their opinions,
but people are entitled to have their own facts. Facts are stubborn things.
This gentleman, before he ever stepped foot on a farm, was infertile.
When you change testimony like that, it's not because you're confused
about dates, it's because you're not telling the truth.
It is not a problem that these gentlemen didn't have a college degree.
People without college degrees can answer questions truthfully.
Standard Fruit and Dole are not liable to these plaintiffs.
There is no causation, no exposure, no causation.
These plaintiffs' claims fail.
My responsibility has been my clients' case.
I need to give that to you. Not in the sense that you walk in my shoes
as an advocate, but in the sense
that the fate of their case belongs to you.
This product was banned
by every country in the world where it was ever used.
They didn't say that it was okay to use the product
in the way it was used in Nicaragua or anywhere else.
They all banned it.
Mr. McKnight said that I'm impugning the honest beliefs of Dole:
That this was safe.
I've got the following questions for you to think about on that point.
Why would anybody, after doing contracts
to buy DBCP for all these years, suddenly only after 1 977 say:
"By the waywe need to decide who's going to pay
for the injury claims by third parties"?
Dow was saying: "l will not sell this product to you
unless we have indemnity."
Why? Because they thought there would be no claims?
What's the purpose of the clause? It's not needed.
What does that tell you about what they really thought?
And what they really knew?
They sold all the product they had, 500,000 gallons,
to one fiirm, their biggest client,
only after they said: "We want indemnity."
So when they come to us with their honest beliefs,
why didn't they test the workers?
They knew they should check workers
who had been exposed six months or more - and they never did it.
And even after they learned that their own workers in Costa Rica were sterile,
they didn't check workers in Costa Rica,
they didn't check workers in Nicaragua,
but they kept using the product.
You were told that Dole stopped.
They stopped when the government of the United States, in 1 979, said:
"There is no permitted level of DBCP on bananas." There was no residue.
And that's the time they stopped buying the product within a week, they said.
But what Counsel did not say
is they took every drop they had in their inventory and applied it,
even after they knew that. They never stopped until they ran out.
That's the truth. There isn't a drop left.
What we're talking about is something
that in a very practical level is cruel.
Here you have somebody in life who has very little
and you take away from them the opportunity to have children,
one of the few joys they have left in their life.
Some of them live literally alone.
Many of the women in their lives left them
because they couldn't have children.
I think we've all had the joy of having a child
take an entire hand to grab one fiinger.
My clients have been deprived of something that is important.
None of us can ever give it back to them. It's too late.
But we have to think about how that has changed their lives
and what it means if the defendants are responsible.
And I leave that to you.
We've got some Portos here.
Come on in and enjoy, have some good old local Portos bakery.
It's a waiting game now.
Hi guys.
Pineapple juice from Dole?!
You know, I don't want this stuff.
Did you switch sides?
You did a good job.
Can I have a beer please?
- Atoast to Juan. - To Duane!
- To Duane and Juan! - Three cheers for Duane!
Good job, good job!
Well, we'll see.
Man, in four hours they can throw a lot of issues into the air...
All I know is I'm tired.
I received a call over the weekend from Michael Carter,
the in-house attorney, General Counsel for Dole.
And he wants to meet with me to discuss something.
And it's undoubtedly settlement.
He sat through all the fiinal arguments, so I think he's having second thoughts
about whether or not he should explore his alternatives to the verdict
and more litigation.
As far as I'm concerned, I want a verdict.
I want the jury to come out.
And I don't want that process stopped.
Who's blinking? Who's nervous?
We're not calling them for lunch, I want a verdict.
Well, there's no question that it's going to be very difficult
to arrive at an agreement on all this.
So we need to put as much pressure on them as we possibly can.
And a verdict may do that.
You speak a lot louder from a position of strength,
and I think we need to do that with these corporations.
We need to deal from a position of strength.
Hi. Good morning, I'm calling fromAttorney Juan Dominguez
regarding the Tellez versus Dole Food Company.
We're told that there are diffiiculties in the court room.
Can you check on that please? Because we're awaiting the live feed.
Is the camera guy in the courtroom on? If it's on, that means we got problems.
But it's way past 10:30 already.
Is the jury out yet, or not?
Their camera lost power a minute ago. The courtroom camera.
They're reading the verdicts now, right?
I'm not sure what's going on.
Looks like they're winning on some, on everything.
And then on some, on half and half,
but I don't know where I picked up on the verdicts.
Carlos Enrique Diaz Artiaga: Yes.
Lizandro Espinoza Delgado: No.
- Claudio Gonzalez: Yes. - More than half are getting killed.
Secundino de Jesus Rizo Herrera: No.
Jose Anastacio Rojas Laguna: Yes.
For each plaintiff listed below for whom we answered Yes...
...will amount to damages, if any, would you award the plaintiff
to compensate him for that harm.
Julio Cesar Calero Gonzalez: $688,000.
Carlos Enrique Diaz Artiaga: $460, 000.
Matilde Jose Lopez Mercado: $311,200.
Jose Uriel Mendoza Gutierrez: $ 51 7, 600.
Jose Anastacio Rojas Laguna : $834,000
Question number 15, for each plaintiff for whom you awarded damages,
how would you apportion the amount in damages
among the Dow Chemical Company, Dole Food Company...
As to Carlos Miguel Blanco, the response was No.
As to Macario Morales Mendoza, the response was No.
And as to Jose Anastacio Rojas Laguna...
We've got to go to the next stage.
So it's six and six: Six out and six in.
Not what we expected. I wanted them all, you know.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you so far, but this is not over.
We're going to go on to phase two of the trial.
Let's text Louise. Text lvonne. After the total amount.
And see if comes up with the same number as you,
and then I'll call Nicaragua.
Dole has been found liable for products liability and concealment.
You must now decide whether each plaintiff has proved
that Dole engaged in that conduct with malice, oppression, or fraud.
Mr. Miller, your adversary claimed a victory in this case.
We, the plaintiffs, are gratifiied that the jury spent four months
paying very careful attention to the evidence,
and we have further proceedings that we need to have on malice.
This case is not fiinished and so l cannot comment further at this time.
The verdict's running 11 - 1 or 12 - 0, on fraudulent concealment,
so they've clearly decided that Dole didn't just stub their toe;
they did bad things.
So we have a very good chance
of getting serious consideration on punitive damages.
I don't know what that means monetarily,
this jury did not go hog-wild.
But anyway, the LATiimes made it clear
that they're going to play it up as a victory,
and they were quizzing Dole about the fact that were found 80% at fault
and found guilty of fraud, and they didn't want to answer any questions.
So the jury is going to interpret this verdict
as a verdict against Dole, principally, and for the plaintiffs.
Hello, Mr. Dominguez. Could you please update the workers
who have waited so long for the results of the Tellez trial,
which will set a precedent for all the afflicted workers in Central America.
Good morning! I have the great honor
to tell the listeners and all who are affected in Nicaragua and Honduras,
that the jury has presented a verdict in favor of the afflicted workers.
I can't give you the names of the workers who were awarded damages...
...and we are going to argue for more money tomorrow,
but at present the amount comes to:
3,290,800 dollars!
This is today's verdict.
There will be two more verdicts. This is the first one.
Tomorrow we will argue whether they sterilized the workers with "malice".
If they are deemed to have acted with malice, it will have a great impact.
Because it will guide thousands of other cases waiting for their day of justice.
This struggle, because it is a struggle...
I hope the punishment will hurt, make their conscience sting.
And that they realize that these people worked for their benefiit.
I thought our only problem was what happened to my dad.
But I was wrong.
She just told me something very sad:
Her cancer is beginning to attack her brain.
She's one more person, yet another soul, that the corporations have taken away.
It's on their conscience. It's like a war.
The general doesn't care if people die, he only wants to win.
But we lose a lot of lives, something only God can give.
What the remaining issue, as to Dole,
is really how we characterize their conduct.
You're being asked to judge whether or not they acted with
one of three things: malice, oppression or fraud.
Dole, 30 years ago, could have done something better,
or could have done something differently.
I look back at what I did in the 70s and I could have done things better,
I should have done things better,
I could have and should have done things differently.
We all can look back on conduct and say:
"We could have done it better, we should have done it better."
That's always valuable to do, you learn lessons from that.
But that's not the question facing you: "Could Dole have done it better??"
What we're talking about is corporate accountability and responsibility.
We have an American corporation overseas,
presenting itself as the face ofAmerica.
You will not fiind one sentence, one thought, one concern
for the effect of this chemical on their workers. Even after they knew.
The claim that's being made now is a very nasty claim.
It's a very nasty claim.
The claim that is being made
is that these individuals, Ballesteros, DeLorenzo and others,
knew that DBCP was going to cause the plaintiffs' testicles to be damaged.
That's what has to be shown here, that they knew that and more:
that they acted in a vile way and intended that it happened.
Counsel says these are ugly accusations.
They're strong words. They're serious issues.
But ultimately, when you decide,
you've got to say whether or not it meets the legal standard
as defiined bythe judge.
Whether it sounds good or not: If the label fiits, it should be applied.
Special verdict for Phase Two.
We answer the questions submitted to us regarding the plaintiffs listed below.
Question 1 : For each plaintiff listed below,
did that plaintiff prove by clear and convincing evidence
that Dole engaged in conduct, by California,
with malice, oppression or fraud to harm the plaintiff?
Jose Gonzalez: Yes. Carlos Artiaga: Yes.
Claudio Gonzalez: No. Matilde Jose Lopez Mercado: Yes.
Jose Uriel Mendoza Gutierrez: Yes. Jose Anastacio Rojas Laguna: Yes.
Question 2: For each plaintiff below...
Congratulations to you, Antonio. This is fantastic, it's incredible!
Today, we made history.
We made it into the books that law students will read in the future.
I felt like dancing in the aisles, but l had to sit there and be professional.
This is better than my dream of being an NBAplayer!
- I wish I could see his face. - He was like...
His shoulders started slouching down,
and people started not wanting to look at each other on the same table.
- It was really evident. - They will learn.
They can go to trial if they want. We'll see how many times theywant.
For these six individual plaintiffs, this was a wonderful day.
They will be among the wealthier people in Nicaragua,
and I congratulate them.
But for the plaintiffs' lawyers, this is a substantial defeat,
because for them to have invested as heavily as they did in time and costs
and to come up with a result
that won't even come close to paying their smallest bills, is a real defeat.
And it will mean that the plaintiffs' lawyers are going to have to reassess
whether they are going to pursue these cases.
Where are all the workers affected by Nemagon?
I want you to rise and give a big hand to Juan Jose Dominguez.
Get up and applaud. Show your gratitude to Juan Jose Dominguez.
Let's see those fans...
They're screwed... They're backed into a corner.
And we'll keep on slashing at them with our machetes.
Because we've hit them hard and they're bleeding.
I'm preparing the next "machete", which will be even sharper and bigger.
Where are we going from here?
What will happen to all of your cases?
What will happen is the same as always, more lawsuits.
Because this is a war... a long war.
We have to be very patient.
The claim that is being made now is a very nasty claim...
It's a victory...