DOLE FOOD COMPANY INC. ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT OF 16 LAWSUITS OF BANANA WORKERS CLAIMING INJURIES AS A RESULT OF EXPOSURE TO DBCP
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - December 08, 2006
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced the settlement of 16 of the 25 U.S. lawsuits by foreign farm workers who claim injuries from alleged exposure more than 20 years ago to the agricultural chemical DBCP in countries in which Dole and its subsidiaries then operated. One of these lawsuits had been due to go to trial in Galveston, Texas in January 2007. The settlements will not have a material effect on Dole's financial condition or results of operations.
Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary said: "We are pleased with this successful continuation of our program of resolving outstanding DBCP claims. As we announced on October 23, 2006, Standard Fruit de Honduras, S.A., the Government of Honduras and representatives of Honduran banana workers reached agreement to establish a Honduran Worker Program to resolve the claims of male banana workers alleging sterility as a result of exposure to DBCP. The lawsuit settlements announced today build on that success." Carter noted: "Although there is no reliable scientific basis for alleged injuries from the agricultural field application of DBCP, Dole has continued to seek reasonable resolution of the pending claims."
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2005 revenues of $5.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends" and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; electrical power supply and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.