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25 Jan 2022

Inclusive Development

US court orders Coca-Cola Company to turn over evidence related to ongoing class action lawsuit against Mitr Phol in Thai courts over allegations of forced eviction

"U.S. Court Orders Coca-Cola to Turn Over Evidence in Thai Human Rights Case", 24 Jan 2022

A U.S. federal court in the Northern District of Georgia last week ordered the Coca-Cola Company to turn over evidence related to an ongoing class action against Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol in the Thai courts. The decision, an important victory for plaintiffs representing hundreds of Cambodian families who were violently displaced to make way for an industrial sugar plantation, comes in response to a petition filed in December by Inclusive Development International, asking the U.S. court for help obtaining information relevant to their case.

Mitr Phol, one of the world’s largest sugar companies and a key supplier for Coca-Cola, is accused of complicity in the violent eviction of more than 700 families in rural northwestern Cambodia between 2008 and 2009. Coca-Cola has previously taken specific steps to investigate Mitr Phol’s role in these allegations, but has never made its findings public. Now, the Cambodian plaintiffs are demanding access to the information.

In its decision, the court found that the information sought “is essential to the full and fair adjudication of the Thai proceedings,” and ordered Coca-Cola to respond within 30 days...

“Access to the information Coca-Cola has could be game-changing for the communities seeking justice in this case and help pave the way for holding Mitr Phol to account after so many years,” said Sor.Rattanamanee Polkla, executive coordinator of Community Resource Centre Foundation and one of the Plaintiffs’ lawyers...