The Los Angeles Times front page news story, “L.A. lawyer accused of fraud in pesticide litigation,” says it all. The lawyer "saw an opportunity.” He partnered with a Nicaraguan lawyer and sought potential plaintiffs to the case with free raffles of bicycles and TV’s. He sought to claim that banana plantation workers for Dole Foods had been rendered sterile. Ironically, many of the alleged plaintiffs neither worked for Dole nor became sterile. The judge concluded that many of the plaintiffs had lied about working on banana farms.
Praise to Judge Victoria Chaney who wrote, “what resulted was a ‘heinous scheme’ cemented together by human greed and avarice.” She recognized this case clearly as lawsuit abuse.
As my earlier blog noted, it should be a warning to all attorneys who “see an opportunity” for their own personal gain to step back and assess the facts for true merit.