Documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gertten.

Dole slips in Bananas!* court case

A court in Los Angeles has ordered fruit and vegetable producer Dole to pay 200,000 US dollars in damages to the Swedish filmmakers behind “Bananas!*” -- a documentary that follows the company’s court case against a group of workers from their banana plantations in Nicaragua.

The damages will pay the trial costs for director Fredrik Gertten, producer Margarete Jangård and their production company WG. And this also means that Dole won’t be able to sue the filmmakers for the movie in the future, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports.

Dole, one of the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producers, sued the filmmakers for defamation after the documentary was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2009. Dole also threatened to sue the organisers of the festival which lead to sponsors withdrawing their support and the film was removed from competition. Dole later dropped their lawsuit.

The recent court decision now makes it possible for the movie to be shown in the US since Dole is not allowed to file another lawsuit against the filmmakers.

“The most important thing for us is that Doles lawsuit has been dismissed for good. They can’t come back,” Gertten said shortly after the verdict had been announced. “The only thing they can appeal is that they have to pay our lawyers.”

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