Del Monte dismisses banana damage lawsuit

12/23/2013 01:35:00 PM
Coral Beach

Del Monte Fresh Produce International Inc. was seeking $1.5 million in damages for almost 4.4 million pounds of bananas it said were not properly stored during a trip from Guatemala to New Jersey, but it dismissed the case five days after filing it.

Del Monte Fresh officials declined to comment and attorneys representing the Coral Gables, Fla.-based company did not immediately responded to requests for comment. Del Monte voluntarily dismissed the case in a court filing on Dec. 23. The company did not include details or state whether it had received any damage payments.

Del Monte Fresh filed the case in federal court in Camden, N.J., on Dec. 18. The case stated almost 110,000 cartons of bananas out of a shipment of 170,989 cartons were not fit for human consumption when the cargo ship “Green Brazil” arrived in Gloucester, N.J., on Dec. 16.

Seven different companies, based in Belgium, Poland, Norway, and The Netherlands, were named as defendants because they own or operate the cargo ship, according to court documents.

In its case, Del Monte said bananas and melons were loaded into three compartments of the cargo ship Dec. 12 at Santo Tomas, Guatemala. Upon unloading the bananas in New Jersey, Del Monte found the fruit from two of the ship’s compartments “had suffered damage during transit and were in a distressed state or ripe and turning.”

The lawsuit did not discuss the condition of the melons Del Monte shipped on the 19-year-old Green Brazil, which is flagged out of the Bahamas.



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