1st Circuit revives defamation case against filmmakers

Monday, December 5, 2011

A federal appeals court has revived a defamation lawsuit against the makers of a documentary about the treatment of Haitian laborers at sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic, Reuters has reported.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 23 that Felipe and Juan Vicini Lluberes could proceed with their lawsuit against the film company Uncommon Productions LLC. But, Reuters said, the appeals court ruled the brothers would have to prove the company released “The Price of Sugar” knowing it included false information.

According to Reuters, the brothers sued the company in 2007, alleging the documentary misrepresented “the working and living conditions on their family-owned plantations.” In addition, Reuters said, the brothers “took issue with the film’s allegations that the Vicini family imprisoned and murdered laborers” and “they said the film’s depictions of worker fear, suffering and malnutrition were false.”

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