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Posted: 1/8/2006 12:05:02 PM EDT
www.thenewstribune.com/news/northwest/story/5430754p-4904789c.html

THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Published: December 31st, 2005 02:30 AM

William Zirkle has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit accusing him and two other executives at a Selah-based fruit company of conspiring to hire thousands of illegal immigrants in order to keep wages low.

The executives admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

The corporation, Zirkle Fruit, was not a defendant.

“Mr. Zirkle knows no one did anything wrong,” Ryan Edgley, his lawyer, said Thursday. “Mr. Zirkle primarily wanted to put an end to the uncertainty.”

Edgley said the defendants were concerned that even if they prevailed before a jury, the plaintiffs would appeal and that legal costs would continue to mount.

The case was set for trial Jan. 9 before U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle.

Had Zirkle lost at trial, he and the other defendants could have faced triple damages under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The case obtained class-action status in 2004, which increased the number of legal workers potentially eligible for damages to 20,000.

Chicago lawyer Howard Foster filed the case in 2000. Although Van Sickle dismissed the case in 2001, Foster won at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002.

The Associated Press
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 12:08:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hmanjr:
Had Zirkle lost at trial, he and the other defendants could have faced triple damages under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.



I think someone asked a while back why the RICO laws were not used in order to stop illegals. I'm glad to see we have at least one DA or prosecutor out there who is willing to hammer these people. Too bad they allowed them to pay a settlement. I would have much better liked to have seen it go to trial and pay triple damages. I would have liked to see the buiness damed so much that it goes under and other people see that to hire illegals is to loose your business.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 12:12:00 PM EDT
As a legal immigrant, having paid $10,000+ in legal and other fees to come in legally, it makes me smile to see a ruling like this. Now if I have to pay an extra $1 for canned peaches, so be it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 12:19:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
As a legal immigrant, having paid $10,000+ in legal and other fees to come in legally, it makes me smile to see a ruling like this. Now if I have to pay an extra $1 for canned peaches, so be it.



Wow. I've heard this before and it kills me. The people who want to be here (in the US) because of the way that it is have to really bust their asses to get here and our system treats them like dirt during the whole process. Those that don't want to be here, just walk across and our system treats them like gold.

Well thank you for thinking so highly of the good old US that you decided to move here. Hope everything has been and will continue to work out.

I'd love to see ruling and settlements like this daily in the news. Someone else ran the numbers for the actual increase in produce prices and it wasn't anything but a few pennies, if that.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 12:47:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hmanjr:
Wow. I've heard this before and it kills me. The people who want to be here (in the US) because of the way that it is have to really bust their asses to get here and our system treats them like dirt during the whole process. Those that don't want to be here, just walk across and our system treats them like gold.



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