“The plantation contaminates local rivers with toxic fertilizers and pesticides,” said Berman. “The drinking water that local people rely on has nitrate levels ten times the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organization.”
“Sure, Dole can point to bright shiny fruit for American consumers, but at an enormous price to the local population,” Berman added.
According to the complaint, various governmental and environmental groups, including the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture and Water & Sanitation Health, Inc. (WASH), have confirmed that the actions of the plantation directly resulted in flooding and water contamination in the area.
The plaintiff in the proposed class-action suit alleges that if he had been informed of the damaging methods used to produce Dole’s bananas he would not have purchased or paid as much for them.“We applaud it when companies make – and follow – declarations of ecological responsibility,” Berman noted. “But when a company increases its market share by misleading consumers, as we allege Dole has done, that is both despicable and cynical.” The suit alleges that Dole’s false claims to its customers violate the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law and California Common Law in relation to fraud and unjust enrichment. The class action lawsuit seeks a ruling from the court that affirms Dole deceived its customers, requires the company to notify all plaintiffs and class members of the truth regarding its banana production methods, and awards plaintiffs and class members appropriate damages. Individuals who purchased Dole bananas are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman to discuss the case. Consumers can contact an attorney by calling (206) 623-7292. They can also email the firm at DOLEBANANAS@hbsslaw.com. More information is available at www.hbsslaw.com/DOLEBananas. About Hagens Berman Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP represents consumers, inventors, workers, whistleblowers and investors in complex litigation. The firm has offices in ten cities across the country and has been named one of the top plaintiffs’ law firms by the National Law Journal six times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com.