Pulling Back The Curtain: Jury verdict unanimous, DuPont Pioneer guilty of harming Waimea Kauai residents

Pulling Back The Curtain: Jury verdict unanimous, DuPont Pioneer guilty of harming Waimea Kauai residents

It has taken years for Waimea residents to finally hold DuPont Pioneer accountable and it is still not over.  However yesterday a jury in Honolulu unanimously ruled that this company must pay for the damages caused by their irresponsible actions.

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser story which is behind a paywall:  http://tinyurl.com/p2r9oqt

You can also find the story here for free: http://tinyurl.com/nlsbpr7

“The verdict said DuPont Pioneer failed to follow generally accepted agricultural and management practices from Dec. 13, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2011, and that the “seriousness of the harm to each plaintiff outweighs the public benefit of Pioneer’s farming operation.” ”

The court action focused on property damage caused by the vast amounts of pesticide laden dust that has blown on to these homes and residents for years.

However, if the dust is bad enough to cause property damage then it surely must be causing damage also to health and environment.

To be clear, this lawsuit is unrelated to the Syngenta led suit against the County of Kauai now under appeal.  The existence of the DuPont Pioneer lawsuit was early evidence that when combined with many other factors, precipitated the introduction of Bill 2491 and the attempt to regulate this industry on Kauai.

Credit for victory goes entirely to the perseverance of Waimea Town residents.

The façade presented through the “Good Neighbor” persona created by the community relations and media guru’s of these companies is quickly evaporating.

No amount of money or industry PR can erase the fact that a unanimous jury decision found them guilty of harm.

The curtain is being drawn back for the whole world to now see the hypocrisy of DuPont Pioneer calling themselves a “good neighbor” while continuing to cause damage to local residents for years after the initial complaints were filed.

Meanwhile another self proclaimed “good neighbor” Syngenta continues to use and sell highly toxic Restricted Use Pesticides on Kauai and through-out Hawaii (atrazine, paraquat and 4 others) that are illegal to use in their own country.

What kind of good neighbor uses toxic pesticides by the ton in their neighbor’s yard but yet uses zero of these chemicals in their own yard back home in Switzerland because their laws will not allow it (all the while telling you how safe it is)?  Syngenta will deny and obfuscate this fact.  But if you have doubts, read this recent New York Times article http://tinyurl.com/m4qkma6 about how Syngenta misrepresents the truth with regards to the use of atrazine in their own country.

What kind of good neighbors sue their local government for merely requiring modest disclosure and basic buffer zones around schools, hospitals and homes?

It will be interesting to see how the industry spins this one.

These companies are harming our community.  They consistently misrepresent themselves, the nature of their actions and the negative impact of their actions on our health, environment and yes on our property as well.

Community members who live near the fields and have to deal with these companies up close and personal know this.  Those of us who have been involved in this battle for the past few years know it as well.

I am increasingly hopeful that more and more residents of Kauai and all Hawaii will begin to see and understand the nature and urgency of our efforts and join with us in demanding accountability.

Mahalo to those residents and community leaders who have persevered and are responsible for this win.  Auwe to those government and industry leaders who have failed in their duties to support these good people.

Gary Hooser

Note:  On April 28th, in the city of Basel Switzerland, I attended and spoke at the annual shareholders meeting of the transnational corporation and chemical giant, Syngenta. Detailed account of trip is on the Hooser Blog http://tinyurl.com/m67khzk

2 minutes and 45 second video of the FIRST part of my remarks to the Syngenta shareholders: http://tinyurl.com/m77votm

1 minute and 33 second SECOND segment as security attempts to prevent the recording: http://tinyurl.com/muz6p8y

A 4 minute video of history of movement in Hawaii:   https://vimeo.com/125756488

If you are not familiar with my background or with the background concerning Bill 2491 and Kauai’s battle against the 4 largest chemical companies in the world, you might find this video interesting and informative.  Please skip the first 3 minutes of the introduction if you like: http://tinyurl.com/qff9tlr

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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6 Responses to Pulling Back The Curtain: Jury verdict unanimous, DuPont Pioneer guilty of harming Waimea Kauai residents

  1. Pingback: Kauai's ongoing battle against pesticide companies - Deep Green Resistance Hawai'i

  2. De La Tatau says:

    And these pesticide laden gmo companies laughed at us and called us fanatical environmentalist. Looks who is laughing now. I await the day when they pack up and leave Kauai. Is there a celebration?

    • garyhooser says:

      A celebration? Many of us are celebrating now. But the real celebration will come only when the residents of Waimea town are ready to celebrate and feel safe in their homes. You can be sure that the bosses at DuPont Pioneer are planning on how they can thwart or delay this win.

  3. carabarber says:

    Reblogged this on Military Families Deserve Safe Housing and commented:
    An incredibly important jury verdict was awarded in favor of more than 100 Kauai residents yesterday. These residents of Waimea, Kauai, represented by Attorney Kyle Smith & other counsel, sued DuPont Pioneer for failing to disclose use of pesticides and failing to protect their families and properties from pesticide laden dust blown from DuPont Pioneer’s farm to their neighboring homes for years. This unanimous jury verdict proves Hawaii juries recognize that pesticide laden dust is harmful and they will award damages to those unjustly affected by the same.
    This verdict is a tremendous source of hope for the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) families seeking justice relative to the undisclosed pesticides and other extremely hazardous chemicals they, their children & pets have been exposed to for years without their knowledge or consent. Thousands of military families stationed to MCBH have & continue to lease unsafe housing on MCBH from Forest City, but they are not told of the unsafe levels of extremely hazardous that contaminates the soil, dust & air in and around the homes they lease. These service members, their spouses, children and pets are exposed to much higher rates of cancer and other disabling diseases without their knowledge or consent because of the contaminants Forest City refuses to disclose and/or remove. Even so, these service members are required to pay 100% of their monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to lease & live in Forest City’s unsafe & substandard housing on MCBH.
    Numerous past & present MCBH residents, who are also represented by Attorney Kyle Smith & other very reputable counsel, filed a class action lawsuit against Forest City last year after a former resident discovered evidence of undisclosed contamination throughout Forest City’s MCBH family housing. This class action lawsuit has been in litigation for almost a year and is scheduled for trial in February 2016.
    We hope this unanimous verdict in favor of Waimea residents will help more MCBH families recognize the devastating effects of pesticide laden dust and to recognize they also deserve full disclosure relative to the health & safety hazards in the MCBH homes they have leased from Forest City. No family should be deceived & poisoned by a private corporation whose only interest is maximizing corporate profits. No family should be impacted by undisclosed poisons without their knowledge or consent. MCBH families need to rally together to demand the justice and accountability they deserve, just as the families of Waimea, Kauai have done. Kudos to all the Waimea families and Attorney Kyle Smith for fighting the good fight & winning!!

  4. kelvin says:

    The slow and painful demise of a political career. … it’s nice to watch you finally riding off into the sunset.
    Nice pr spin of your own. You have become a schill just like the corporate people chasing a paycheck…but you are chasing tax ememptions and donations.

    • garyhooser says:

      You don’t have a clue. What great contribution to society have you made with you life? I am proud of mine and sleep soundly every night knowing that I am doing my best to make the world a better place.

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