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Florida Federal Judge Says Class Action Lawsuit Against Chiquita Can Move Forward

June 16, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

A Florida federal judge ruled earlier this month that a class action lawsuit against the Chiquita banana company could move forward. Four thousand family members of Columbians killed by paramilitaries sued Chiquita alleging that Chiquita paid the terrorist organization millions of dollars. Chiquita argued in court that it was a victim of extortion by the paramilitary group, and that it had nothing to do with the crimes committed by the terrorists.

The judge’s ruling now means that the family members can proceed with their claims against Chiquita for torture and crimes against humanity. The U.S. Justice Department previously fined Chiquita $25 million for its acts, but Chiquita is yet to compensate the families of those killed.

A spokesperson for Chiquita said Chiquita would vigorously defend itself against the allegations and meritless claims. He called the plaintiffs’ claims “outrageous” and said the plaintiffs now have the burden of proving their allegations.

The plaintiffs’ attorney commented that Chiquita should be liable for paying a terrorist organization that killed thousands of people. He added that Chiquita be put out of business by punitive damages.

Contact a Florida class action lawyer if you think you may be an eligible plaintiff in a class action lawsuit. An experienced Florida attorney can protect your individual interests in any type of class action litigation.