Greenpeace sues Dow Chemical for spying

Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:44pm GMT

* Lawsuit alleges Dow, Sasol spied on Greenpeace

* PR firms Ketchum, Dezenhall also named as defendants

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Environmental activist group Greenpeace sued Dow Chemical (DOW.N: Quote) on Monday, accusing the largest U.S. chemical maker and others of spying on it for three years to disrupt its activities.

The lawsuit seeks "compensatory, statutory and punitive damages," though Greenpeace acknowledged it largely wants increased publicity.

The environmental group, known for its unconventional methods to promote its causes, said that Dow and other defendants hired a private security firm to keep tabs on it and sift through its trash.

"This is not about money," said Mark Floegel, a Greenpeace employee who helped collect material for the lawsuit. "What we really want is to drag the activities of these people into the light of day and to send a message to corporations that they can't do this."

Greenpeace also sued the North American arm of South African chemical maker Sasol Limited (SOLJ.J: Quote) and public relations firms Dezenhall and Ketchum, owned by Omnicom Group (OMC.N: Quote). The suit also names four individual private investigators.

Dow, Sasol and Dezenhall were not immediately available for comment. Ketchum said it would review the suit and comment later.   Continued...

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