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Case 0:08-md-01916-KAM Document 1743 Entered on FLSD Docket 01/15/2018 Page 1 of 4


Case No. 08-01916-MD-MARRA/JOHNSON




This Document Relates To: ATS ACTIONS

Does 1-976 (10-cv-80652)

Does 1-677 (11-cv-80404)
Does 1-2146 (17-cv-80475)

Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Earthrights International's Motion to Compel

The Plaintiffs represented herein Oppose the Motion to Compel financial information filed

against Chiquita Brands by Earthrights International. DE 1741. Plaintiffs will also oppose any

motion for class certification and try to opt out of any class. We would rather remain in the MDL

in Florida, but would argue our right to be remanded to other courts, see Lexecon Inc. v. Milberg

Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, 523 U.S. 26 (1998), to avoid being absorbed in the class.

The Court set a deadline of April 2, 2018 for the parties to "file joint motion requesting

scheduling of pretrial conference for purposes of discussing the feasiblity of trying all Bellwether

Trials in the Southern District of Florida (MDL Court) by consent, or alternatively whether any

trials should be remanded to the courts of original jurisdiction for trial." D.E. 1361 at 4. Therefore,

the Court should decide the class certification motion before April.1

The Court should deny the motion for class certification, since common issues don't predominate.
Mass torts are distinguished from class actions by the fact that causation is not a common issue in
mass torts. All of our work on the bellwether cases has been about individual causation, and
Chiquita's only real defense, after the Court granted the ATA Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment on the Defense of Duress, D.E. 1733, is to try to disprove each particular case,
or its forseeability or proximate cause.
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We would like to see the Court deny the motion as being untimely, since the class

certification issue could have been raised ten years ago, and is being raised at the worst possible

time. Discovery closes on April 2, 2018. We are busy getting visas for our second group of

bellwethers, and are expecting to hear from the Government of Colombia about the paramilitary

depositions at any time. When Mr. Scarola raised this issue at the Rule 26(f) conference on about

April 17, 2017, I asked when he was going to file a motion for class certification, and no one from

either his firm or Earthrights responded. That was almost nine months ago. Moreover, the motion

for class certification isn't going to depend on the precise value of the company, since the value of

the claims can't be estimated.

At some point it may make sense to categorize the cases by date and location, and other

factors, but these are going to be fact-dependent. For example, one obvious way to classify the

cases is by date. But the ATA plaintiffs have shown payments to paramilitaries dating back to the

early 1990s, before Raul Hasbun introduced the convivir shell companies and the paper trail began

in earnest. Raul Hasbun and Herbert Veloza will testify that the AUC was paid in cash for several

years before this system was devised. Other categories one could think of, such as location, are

even more complex. The ATA cases occurred in the department of Chocó, which we considered

to be too far away. Obviously, with thousands of wrongful death claims, and no idea what the

damages could be, it is certainly possible that the Plaintiffs could bankrupt the Defendant. Since

the value of the claims is a complete unknown, detailed financial information from Chiquita isn't

needed either.

In any event, Earthrights International shouldn't be allowed to control this case. They have

power of representation over very few plaintiffs, and are completely unknown in the Uraba region

of Colombia. During the bellwether case selection process, we learned that a number of the claims
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filed by Earthrights were people we'd been working with for years. I met with each of them, and

each signed a "cease and desist" letter addressed to Earthrights. Earthrights made no attempt to

meet with them, but responded to me that they would continue to represent the individuals in court.

They claim to represent their clients via intermediary "human rights defenders" whom they don't

want to name. As far as I know, none of them have ever been to Uraba, met a client, or can speak


I lived in Apartado, Colombia for somewhere between one and two years working on this

case. I rented three different apartments, moved/reopened my office twice, and have been paying

four employees in Uraba (one since moved to Medellin) to maintain contact with our clients. I've

done countless local news interviews over the years, in Spanish. About 300 clients follow my

Facebook page, Asesorias Paul. Nearly every night, including tonight, I answer messages from

people asking "what's going on in the case?" I have to filter all these people to see if they are

clients of the other attorneys, almost none of whom speak Spanish or have been to Uraba.

When I began this case ten years ago, I was willing to allow more experienced attorneys,

and large law firms, to make all the decisions. That ended once conversations about witness

bribery began. Earthrights and the other "New Jersey" counsel were the ones who convinced the

Court to grant a bogus "emergency" motion to take depositions of three Colombian paramilitaries,

whose only relation to this case is Terry Collingsworth. These attorneys have been involved in

other fraudulent cases as well, including Drummond and Chevron, and are a danger to the other



For the foregoing reasons, the Court should DENY Earthrights International's Motion to

Compel Discovery, D.E. 1733, and order expedited briefing on a motion for class certification, so
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that it may be decided before the Court's April 2, 2018 deadline for the motion for pretrial


Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Paul Wolf

Paul Wolf, CO Bar #42107
Attorney for Plaintiffs
PO Box 46213
Denver, CO 80201
(202) 431-6986

January 15, 2018

Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that on this 15th day of January, 2018, I filed the foregoing document with
the Clerk of the Court using the Court's Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system, which will send
notices by email to all persons entitled to receive them.

/s/ Paul Wolf

Paul Wolf