This lawsuit came on the heels of immigration raids conducted by federal authorities at Swift meat packing plants throughout the country. Shortly after the raids, on December 15, 2006, a group of Swift employees filed a class action lawsuit against their employer, Swift Beef Company, Inc., and ...
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This lawsuit came on the heels of immigration raids conducted by federal authorities at Swift meat packing plants throughout the country. Shortly after the raids, on December 15, 2006, a group of Swift employees filed a class action lawsuit against their employer, Swift Beef Company, Inc., and related companies, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that Swift engaged in a longstanding scheme to hire undocumented immigrants for the express purpose of depressing employee wages. In furtherance of its scheme Swift recruited undocumented immigrants to work in its plants and assisted in providing them fake immigration documents.
Plaintiffs, who were represented by private counsel, alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.; Immigration Reform and Control Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324 et seq.; and § 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as statutory damages and exemplary damages in the amount of $23 million. Defendants responded by moving to dismiss the case.
For reasons that are not apparent from the PACER docket, on October 4, 2007, the parties agreed to dismiss without prejudice two of the defendants, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. and HM Capital Partners of Dallas, LLC.
On December 20, 2007, the Court (Judge David C. Godbey) granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Court found that while the plaintiffs had adequately pled a claim for harboring illegal aliens under RICO, they had not pled their claim for hiring illegal aliens with sufficient factual support to satisfy the standard detailed by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Since plaintiffs had not alleged that defendants had actual knowledge that the illegal aliens hired had been smuggled into the country, the Court found that their illegal hiring claim was inadequate and therefore dismissed it.
Plaintiffs amended their complaint on March 14, 2008, but the Court (Judge Godbey) again dismissed their illegal hiring claims on May 28, finding that they remained insufficiently specific.
Following some discovery disputes, plaintiffs moved for class certification on October 6, 2008. The Court (Judge Godbey) denied the motion on January 13, 2009, finding that the proposed class of all Swift employees who had the legal right to work in the United States was not clearly ascertainable, as it would not be possible to determine who belonged without “an extensive factual inquiry into thousands of employees’ work authorization.”
The next entry on the docket is on June 18, 2009, when the parties entered an unexplained stipulation for dismissal with prejudice. The case was terminated on the same day.Christopher Schad - 06/11/2012