A California judge said Monday threats had been made against her and witnesses in connection with lawsuits claiming Nicaraguan workers on Dole Foods banana plantations were harmed by pesticides.
Judge Victoria Chaney met with lawyers in closed session regarding new claims of witness tampering, then took the bench to abruptly announce there had been threats to her and to witnesses in radio addresses in Nicaragua.
She said she was notifying the judicial protective unit.
"This appears to be flagrant witness tampering," she said. "I have even more grave concerns about witness safety than I did before."
Chaney didn't reveal the source of the threats, and transcripts of the broadcasts haven't been released. She did say the tampering didn't appear to involve plaintiff's attorney Steve Condie.