University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hall v. White IM-AL-0002
Docket / Court 3:07-CV-00484 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On March 16, 2007, an employee of a poultry plant in Alabama, filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and other hourly wage employees. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against two managers at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry plant in ... read more >
On March 16, 2007, an employee of a poultry plant in Alabama, filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and other hourly wage employees. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against two managers at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry plant in Russellville, Alabama. The plaintiff alleged that Pilgrim's Pride, one of the largest poultry operations in the country, and its predecessor, Gold Kist, engaged in a massive scheme to hire undocumented immigrants for the express purpose of depressing employee wages. The complaint argued that the defendants' scheme violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq. and the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a), et seq. The plaintiff was represented by private counsel.

The complaint argued that, in furtherance of their scheme, the defendants recruited scores of undocumented immigrants to work in their plants, provided free temporary housing at hotels, provided them transportation to and from work, turned a blind eye to obviously fake work papers, and reprimanded employees for "looking at the papers too closely." The plaintiff further alleged that after the defendants were notified of workers using false social security numbers, the undocumented workers would then simply assume new bogus identities and continue working.

The representative plaintiff herself was an hourly employee of the Russellville Facility, and stated that her wages were depressed as a result of hiring scheme. The complaint sought to define a class of "all other persons legally authorized to be employed in the U.S. who have been employed at Gold Kist and Pilgrim's Pride Facilities nationwide, as hourly wage earners in the last four years."

The defendants moved to dismiss the case on May 7, 2007 and then moved for summary judgment later that month on May 31. On June 22, the Court dismissed without prejudice the latter motion and stayed discovery pending the resolution of the motion to dismiss. The Court denied this motion on March 11, 2008, ordering the plaintiff to amend her complaint to assert injury as a result of RICO violations rather than a "conspiracy to hire unauthorized aliens." The plaintiff filed the amended complaint on March 20, and then a second amended complaint on May 2, 2008.

On July 28, 2008, one of the two managers was dismissed as a defendant pursuant to a stipulation.

On November 29, 2010, the Court (Lynwood Smith) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed with prejudice all of the plaintiff's claims. Specifically, the had plaintiff sought to introduce an expert witness who was going to demonstrate that the plaintiff's wages were depressed due to the defendants' alleged employment of legally ineligible workers. The Court stated that the plaintiff did not contest that it was their only evidence regarding causation between wage depression and RICO violations. In the same order, the Court denied the admission of the expert witness because the plaintiff did not demonstrate his testimony would be necessarily helpful nor that his methodology was reliable. In the absence of necessary causation evidence, the Court deemed summary judgment appropriate. 753 F.Supp.2d 1113.

On December 24, 2010, the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal, which was dismissed with prejudice on February 14, 2011. The plaintiff was directed to pay costs in the amount of $56,607.02.

This case is closed.

Gregory Pitt - 07/17/2012
Virginia Weeks - 01/21/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration/Border
Employer sanctions
Employment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Pilgrim's Pride
Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
Plaintiff Description All hourly paid documented workers employed by Gold Kist Inc. and/or Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2007
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:07-cv-00484-CLS (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/10/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint
IM-AL-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/15/2007
Order (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2007
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 33]
IM-AL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion And Order [ECF# 157] (753 F.Supp.2d 1113) (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Smith, Charles Lynwood Jr. (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0002-0002 | IM-AL-0002-0005 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bowling, Jeffery L. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-0001 | IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Comfort, Robert J (Illinois)
IM-AL-0002-9000
Foster, Howard W. (Illinois)
IM-AL-0002-0001 | IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Galin, Matthew (Illinois)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Hutchinson, Jeremy (Arkansas)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Lawson, Marshall (South Carolina)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Mcreynolds, John (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Methvin, R. G. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-0001 | IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Patterson, Jack T (Arkansas)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Rommel, Sean F (Texas)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Stephens, J. Matthew (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-0001 | IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Wyly, James C (Texas)
IM-AL-0002-0003 | IM-AL-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Andrews, Haley A. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-9000
Bailey, Clayton E. (Texas)
IM-AL-0002-9000
Dougherty, Adam (Texas)
IM-AL-0002-9000
Franklin, Samuel H. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0002-9000
Taylor, Mark D. (Texas)
IM-AL-0002-9000

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