SAN FRANCISCO — A California appellate panel on Thursday gave plaintiffs a chance to renew their complaint in a wrongful death suit against Dole Food Co.

The action was filed by 183 heirs of 167 Colombians murdered by a paramilitary organization, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC. The plaintiffs alleged that Dole was responsible for the deaths because it and its Colombian alter ego hired paramilitary groups to protect the company’s banana operations, including killing union organizers, between 1994 and 2007. The groups financed by Dole went on to form the AUC, they alleged.

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