DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. COMMENTS ON DBCP PUNITIVE DAMAGES VERDICT
Westlake Village, CA - November 16, 2007
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that it is pleased that the punitive damages phase has concluded in the Tellez case in Los Angeles Superior Court. The jury awarded a total of $2.5 million in punitive damages against Dole to five Nicaraguan plaintiffs who claimed they were injured by DBCP on independent banana farms in Nicaragua nearly 30 years ago. Dole plans to appeal legal and constitutional issues pertaining to the Tellez verdicts.
"Dole appreciates the dedication, commitment and professionalism of the jury and the court in what was a long and complex trial," said C. Michael Carter, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Dole.
"Dole is a world leader in community development, the environment and sustainable agriculture. We provide housing, education and health care to employees throughout the world" said David A. DeLorenzo, President and CEO of Dole. "We are dedicated to constant improvements in the health and safety of our 75,000 employees worldwide. Dole sets high standards for the Company that go beyond what the law requires. Our people are our greatest asset and their safety and well being our highest priority"
Dole is a producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
The Tellez case is not expected to have a material effect on Dole's financial condition or results of operation. 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; energy 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.