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26 Apr 2012

Ross Todd, Litigation Daily [USA]

Discovery Spat Resolved in Alien Tort Case Over 'Plan Colombia'

In a decade-old Alien Tort Claims Act case, defense lawyers for DynCorp cited concerns that handing over discovery material might reveal the flight paths of U.S. State Department contractors to narco-terrorists in the Andean jungle...The underlying case was filed on Sept. 11, 2001, on behalf of Ecuadorian citizens and residents targeting DynCorp over its role in the State Department's "Plan Colombia" anti-narcotics effort. The plaintiffs claim that fumigation flights combating cocaine and heroin farms damaged them, their livestock, vegetation, and water...Both Collingsworth [plaintiffs’ counsel] and DynCorp counsel Rosemary Stewart of Hollingsworth LLP said...that the meat of the judge's decision is a bit of a moot point now, because the parties have entered into a consent agreement about how to handle sensitive material so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. But Collingsworth said he was pleased that the judge had agreed with plaintiffs that the non-spray data was potentially useful to their case.

Part of the following timelines

Court denies DynCorp's request to withhold documents in case alleging its coca crops fumigation flights in Colombia damaged residents' health & livelihoods

DynCorp lawsuit (re Colombia & Ecuador)