Dole Food Co. has reportedly signed a definitive settlement agreement that could conclude five U.S. lawsuits and 33 lawsuits filed in Nicaragua by banana plantation workers purportedly exposed to the agricultural chemical DBCP (1,2-Dibromo3-chloropropane). At stake are potential alleged damages in excess of $9 billion. According to Dole’s October 3, 2011, news release, the company “will not fund the settlement by making any payments until specific conditions are satisfied, including receiving a signed release from each plaintiff, dismissals of cases and judgments, and a good faith settlement determination by the Los Angeles Superior Court that is presiding over four of the U.S. cases.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.