When the Dole Food Company managed to knock out pending lawsuits last year in which plaintiffs who said they’d worked on Dole banana plantations in the 1970s claimed they were rendered sterile by pesticides the company used at that time, there was still one big problem.

Even though the Los Angeles superior court judge found that the plaintiffs’ lawyers had been part of what she described as “a fraud on the court,” the same lawyers had already tried a case before her in 2007 that involved different plaintiffs but the same claims, and the jury returned a multimillion-dollar verdict.

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