(Nov. 12) Dole Food Co. officials said they were pleased by part of a jury verdict in Los Angeles that found half of the 12 plaintiffs who brought a suit against the company did not suffer injury as a result of exposure to the agricultural chemical DBC on independent banana farms in Nicaragua in the 1970s.

However, the Westlake, Calif.,-based company said it would appeal the Nov. 5 verdict, which awarded about $2.5 million to the other six plaintiffs, who said they were made sterile by exposure to the chemical.

The jury also found against Dow Chemical in those cases, according to The Associated Press, which also reported that another jury opened the door for punitive damages against Dole in a Nov. 7 ruling that the company acted maliciously in harming five of six workers who say they were left sterile.

“We feel very strongly that these verdicts are wrong, and it’s been a result of manipulating science and emotional appeals,” said Marty Ordman, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for Dole.

He said a hearing about punitive damages is expected the week of Nov. 12, followed by further jury deliberations.