September 25, 2019
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Plaintiffs Motion to Vacate Judgment Under Rule 60(b)(6),
C. Dalton, Esquire, Dalton & Associates, P.A., Wilmington,
Delaware, Scott M. Hendler, Esquire, Hendler Flores, PLLC,
Austin, Texas, Attorneys for Plaintiffs.
S. Price, Jr., Esquire, Potter, Anderson & Corroon LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware; Andrea Neuman, Esquire, Thomas
Manakides, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, New York, New York,
Attorneys for Defendants Dole Food Company, Inc., Dole Fresh
Fruit Company, Standard Fruit Company, and Standard Fruit and
Orlacchio, Esquire, Brandon McCune, Esquire, Blank Rome LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware, Attorneys for Defendants Chiquita
Brands International, Inc., Chiquita Brands, LLC, and
Chiquita Fresh North America, LLC.
E. Reid, Esquire, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware, Michael L. Brem, Esquire, Shirrmeister,
Diaz-Arrastia, Brem, LLP, Houston, Texas, Attorneys for
Defendant Dow Chemical Company.
Jay Houseal, Esquire, Jennifer M. Kinkus, Esquire, William E.
Gamgort, Esquire, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware, Attorneys for Occidental Chemical
Phillips, Esquire, Phillips, Goldman, McLaughlin & Hall,
P.A., Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Defendant AMVAC
E. Farnan, Esquire, Katharine L. Mowery, Esquire, Richards,
Layton & Finger, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware, Craig Stanfield,
King & Spalding, LLP, Houston, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant
Shell Oil Company.
Semple, Esquire, Cooch & Taylor, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware,
Attorney for Defendant Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.
years ago today, this Court dismissed this case on grounds of
forum non conveniens under Delawares
McWane Doctrine ("November 2013 Dismissal
Order"). The basis for dismissal of this action
was that the claims made in this Court had already been filed
in in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana ("Louisiana District Court").
By the time this Court granted
the motion to dismiss at issue here, the Louisiana District
Court had already dismissed Plaintiffs claims on statute of
limitations grounds and the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fifth Circuit had already affirmed the Louisiana
District Courts dismissal on those grounds. The Delaware
Supreme Court, sitting en banc, adopted this Courts
reasoning and affirmed the November 2013 Dismissal Order on
October 20, 2014. Accordingly, this lawsuit was
dismissed because Plaintiffs had first pursued their claims
in another court even though the claims in that other court
had already been dismissed.
Plaintiffs have moved to vacate the November 2013 Dismissal
Order pursuant to Superior Court Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b)(6) on the basis that "[t]hree groundbreaking
rulings" issued since the November 2013 Dismissal Order
have so radically disrupted the legal foundations of this
Courts November 2013 Dismissal Order that the dismissal can
no longer stand. Defendants oppose Plaintiffs Motion.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Plainitffs claims arise from alleged exposure to the
pesticide 1, 2, dibromo 3, chloropropane ("DBCP")
by persons employed on various banana farms throughout
Central America, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.
I. Litigation in Texas and Various "Home"
1993, Plaintiffs Texas counsel filed a class action lawsuit
in Texas state court ("Texas State Action") on
behalf of all persons allegedly exposed to DBCP between 1965
and 1990 as a result of actions taken by
Defendants. In 1994, Defendants removed the Texas
State Action to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas ("Texas District
Court"), where the case was consolidated with other DBCP
cases ("Texas Federal Action").
1995, the Texas District Court dismissed the Texas Federal
Action for forum non conveniens, finding the courts
of Plaintiffs home countries better suited to resolve
Plaintiffs claims ("Dismissal
Order"). However, the Dismissal Order permitted
Plaintiffs to return to the Texas District Court to resume
the Texas Federal Action "in the event that the highest
court of any foreign country finally affirms the dismissal
for lack of jurisdiction of any action commenced by a
plaintiff in these actions."
the foreign courts declined jurisdiction, in 2004, the Texas
Federal Action was reinstated and the claims remanded to the
Texas state court where the parties litigated
Plaintiffs claims until 2010 when the Texas state court
denied Plaintiffs motion for class
II. Plaintiffs Pursue ...