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Jury Finds DynCorp Responsible for the Actions of Plan Colombia Pilots Who Conducted Fumigations After April 2003
Author: International Rights Advocates, Published on: 21 April 2017
[A] federal jury returned a verdict in the first of the test trials against DynCorp International... [The case was initially filed] in 2001 on behalf of over 2,000 Ecuadoran farmers who live near the border with Colombia and allege that they had their farms destroyed when the toxic chemicals used by DynCorp to kill coca and poppy plants was also sprayed on their farms...the case was finally set for trial on behalf of six (6) test plaintiffs...DynCorp’s major defense was that they were not responsible for any of the damages to the Ecuadoran farmers because they were not flying the spray missions themselves...The jury concluded that DynCorp was responsible for EAST [a subcontractor's] pilots...[and] that in April, 2003, EAST took over control...making DynCorp liable for all spray pilots fumigating after that date...All of the first six test Plaintiffs had claims that pre-dated April, 2003...The jury was accordingly unable to award damages...DynCorp will be estopped from arguing they are not responsible for any harm caused by the spray pilots post-April, 2003...