Three citizens of the West African nation of Mali are suing Nestle
SA, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill Inc., alleging the firms
and their subsidiaries benefited from child slave labor at cocoa bean
plantations in Ivory Coast.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on
Thursday, was brought on behalf of three unnamed "John Doe"
plaintiffs identified as former child slaves.
The complaint, which alleged violations of U.S. federal laws
against slavery, trafficking, forced labor and torture, among others,
seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. The case also
seeks class-action status.
San Francisco-based Global Exchange, a nonprofit international
human rights organization, and International Labor Rights Fund, a
Washington, D.C.-based human rights group, filed the lawsuit.
According to Thursday's lawsuit, the plaintiffs were each forced
from their homes in Mali in 1996 while still in their teens to toil
without pay at cocoa bean plantations in the neighboring nation of
A spokeswoman for Nestle SA subsidiary Nestle USA Inc. in Glendale
said Thursday the company had no immediate comment because it had yet
to see the complaint.
Victims file lawsuit against Metrolink
Another lawsuit was filed today against Metrolink on behalf of 12
people who were injured in the Jan. 26 commuter train crash in
The complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges
negligence and dangerous condition of public property.
According to the suit, each passenger filed a claim for damages --
a required precursor to a lawsuit -- with the transit agency on May
12. Metrolink formally rejected each claim, the suit states.
The plaintiffs are asking for general and special damages.
The plaintiffs are: Michelle Awagah, Catherine Fransen, Trudy
Logan-Sturoke, David Toledo, Sharon Holbert, Hemlata Thomas, Roger
Craig, Richard Myles, Willa Mae Robinson, Arleen Faigao and Victoria
Olguin of Ventura County, and Jimmy Valentine of Los Angeles County.