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Chaverri v. Dole Food Co. Inc.

Superior Court of Delaware

November 8, 2013

EDUARDO ALVARADO CHAVERRI, et. al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC., et. al., Defendants.

Submitted: October 18, 2013

Michael L. Sensor, Esquire, Perry & Sensor, Wilmington, Delaware; Of Counsel: Jonathan S. Massey, Esquire, Massey & Gail LLP, Washington, D.C., Scott M. Hendler, Esquire, HendlerLaw, P.C., Austin, Texas, Attorneys for Plaintiff

Somers S. Price, Esquire, Potter, Anderson & Corroon, Wilmington, Delaware; Of Counsel: Andrea E. Neuman, Esquire, Thomas Manakides, Esquire, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Irvine, California, Attorneys for Defendants Dole Food Company, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Standard Fruit Company and Standard Fruit and Steamship Company

Donald E. Reid, Esquire, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Of Counsel: Michael L. Brem, Esquire, Schirrmeister, Diaz-Arrastia & Brem LLP, Houston, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Dow Chemical Company

Anthony G. Flynn, Esquire, Timothy Jay Houseal, Esquire, Jennifer M. Kinkus, Esquire, William E. Gamgort, Esquire, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Of Counsel: D. Ferguson McNiel, Esquire, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Occidental Chemical Corporation

John C. Phillips, Jr., Esquire, Phillips, Goldman & Spence, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Defendant AMVAC Chemical Corporation

Kelly E. Farnan, Esquire, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Shell Oil Company

James W. Semple, Esquire, Corrine E. Amato, Esquire, Morris James, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Of Counsel: Boaz Morag, Esquire, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York, New York, Attorneys for Defendant Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.

Andrea L. Rocanelli, Judge

I. Facts and Procedural Posture

This matter arises from alleged injuries from exposure to 1, 2, dibromo 3, chloropropane ("DBCP") sustained by the thirty (30) Plaintiffs to this action. Plaintiffs worked on banana growing plantations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama. Plaintiffs bring claims against the Defendants for negligence, strict liability, breach of implied warranty, conspiracy, participation and assistance among the Defendants, medical monitoring, and enhanced risk of injury from exposure to DBCP.

On May 31, 2011, Plaintiffs filed suit against Dole Food Company, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Standard Fruit Company, Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, the Dow Chemical Company, Occidental Chemical Corporation, Amvac Chemical Corporation, Shell Oil Company, Chiquita Brands International, Inc., Chiquita Brands, LLC, Chiquita Fresh North America, LLC, Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A. Inc. ("Defendants") in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ("the Louisiana Action").

On June 1, 2012, Plaintiffs filed the instant action in this Court asserting identical claims against the identical Defendants ("the Delaware Action").

On August 2, 2012, in lieu of an answer, Defendants Dole Food Company, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Standard Fruit Company, Standard Fruit and Steamship Company filed a Rule 12(b)[1] Motion to Dismiss the Delaware Action. The remaining defendants joined in the motion. Defendants argue that the Delaware Action matter should be dismissed on the basis of forum non conveniens, as the instant complaint is identical to the Louisiana Action, which was filed first, vigorously pursued, and litigated to conclusion by Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs oppose the Motion to Dismiss on the basis that ...


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