Plaintiffs won’t proceed together in Chiquita’s second trial

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Plaintiffs won’t proceed together in Chiquita’s second trial

Attorneys representing the families of victims of paramilitary groups funded by Chiquita during the early 2000s told the court they are unable to proceed together in the second bellwether trial, Law360 reported.

Plaintiffs not represented by attorney Paul Wolf, known in the litigation as “non-Wolf”, asked U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to sever their claims from the Wolf plaintiffs.

Attorneys representing the non-Wolf plaintiffs filed a motion on June 14, stating that they have experienced "accusations and acrimony" from Wolf directed at other plaintiffs' attorneys for the duration of the case, which is close to 15 years

They emphasized that forcing them all to try a case together "is a mistrial waiting to happen."

The motion comes after a recent post, in which Wolf shared the verdict form from the first bellwether trial with the names of the plaintiffs and the amounts of money each was awarded. Wolf did not have clients in the first bellwether trial.

The non-Wolf plaintiffs' attorneys objected to the post, saying it put their clients at risk for violence and extortion in Colombia.

However, the separation isn’t new, as the two attorney groups have been operating separately since 2013, when Wolf allegedly copied Chiquita's lead counsel on a message discussing case strategy. 

The second bellwether trial is slated to begin July 15.

Related articles: Chiquita found liable in paramilitary financing case

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