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Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

Chiquita Blocks Measure to Compensate 9/11 Victims

July 10, 2014 | Michael Barasch

The largest banana producer in the world is blocking legislation that would aid victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

In September of 2013, a bill to aid recovery of compensation for victims of terrorist attacks was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 3143, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was introduced by Peter King, New York representative for the second congressional district.

JASTA seeks to revise the federal code to impose U.S. jurisdiction and liability on persons who aid, abet, conspire or support those who commit terrorist acts that injure a U.S. citizen. The bill also hopes to repeal any protections from civil action against those whose actions relate to terrorism events.

Although the website tagline for Chiquita is Live Better, media reports reveal the following:

  • Chiquita paid approximately $780,000 to lobby against JASTA since it was introduced.
  • The company previously pled guilty to making payments to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). The United States designates AUC a paramilitary terrorist group.
  • Chiquita claims it made payments to AUC due to extortion.

In a comment to the Daily Beast, Chiquita notes, “Chiquita’s sole interest is to ensure that the legislation does not inadvertently promote litigation against individuals and companies who, like Chiquita, were victims of extortion by terrorist groups.”

At present, media reports suggests Senator Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, is blocking the bill, possibly in response to lobbying efforts by Chiquita.

A needed measure to deter support of terrorism and aid recovery for victims of terrorist attacks appears to be blocked by bananas.

When you have questions about a compensation claim or diagnosis from a 9/11-related injury in New York City, seek experienced legal counsel from Barasch & McGarry.

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