A lawsuit is being tried south of our Sacramento home in Los Angeles, California. A group of twelve Central American workers are suing the fruit companies, Dole and Standard, along with chemical companies, Dow and Amvac, after being exposed to dangerous amounts of pesticides. Eleven of the twelve men are now sterile, claiming that the high level of pesticides caused their infertility.
It’s an the first time an issue like this has been at the center of a dispute. The pesticide, DBCP, was used throughout the 1970s and has since been banned in the United States. Other complaints have been registererd throughout time on matters that relate to this one. Plaintiffs claim that Dole carried out a number of intentionally dangerous activities, such as spraying the pesticides when the manufacture recommended mixing it into the soil and using 10 gallons of pesticide a year rather than the instructed 1 ½. Actions as these often take place because of disrespected for safety regulations.
Dole has several defenses, stating that very little of the chemical was used only once or twice year (a tablespoon amount) and that the infertility in the workers could be due to other problems (such as excessive drinking and gonorrhea).
We will have to wait and see how this case turns out. Interestingly enough, there are four other cases in Los Angeles County, representing around 5,000 agricultural workers from the Central America area. Hopefully through all of this a lesson will be learned that we need to treat all employees with equal care, respect and protection. And of course, never disregard safety regulations, they exist for a reason.
If you or someone you know has been injured because of an employer’s neglect and abuse, please call our law offices. We are here to help.
Be careful out there…
For the full new article on this lawsuit, please click here.