A lawsuit alleging Chiquita Brands International Inc. was liable for the deaths of thousands of Colombians during a civil war has been thrown out.
The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Florida ruled July 24 that because the alleged crimes did not occur within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, the case cannot be prosecuted in the U.S., according to the ruling.
The ruling overturns an earlier U.S. district court ruling which refused Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita’s request to dismiss the case.
The ruling is the latest in a series of events concerning Chiquita’s alleged support for terrorist groups in Colombia.
In 2010, Chiquita settled lawsuits involving payments to the terrorist groups. The company did not pay monetary damages in those suits. Instead, it adopted “certain governance and compliance changes” and paid plaintiffs’ attorney fees.
In 2007, a lawsuit was filed seeking $7.9 billion in damages from Chiquita for its alleged dealings with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC.
Also in 2007, Chiquita, in a plea agreement, agreed to pay a $25 million fine to settle a suit alleging that its Colombian subsidiary, Banadex, paid $1.7 million to the AUC between 1997 and 2004.