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Case Name Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0013
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-06219 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Attorney Organization Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It was consolidated with Achari v. Signal International and continues on that page ... read more >
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It was consolidated with Achari v. Signal International and continues on that page.

On Aug. 7, 2013, 28 Indian guestworkers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi for harm suffered as a result of an allegedly fraudulent and coercive employment recruitment scheme. Plaintiffs filed this suit after District Judge Jay Zainey denied class certification on Jan. 3, 2012 in a related case, IDavid v. Signal International.

Plaintiffs were brought to the United States to provide labor and services to defendant Signal International, a company in the business of providing repairs to offshore oil rigs that was based in Pascagoula, Mississippi and had operations in the Gulf Coast region. The complaint alleged that plaintiffs paid Signal's recruiters as much as $25,000 for travel, visa, and recruitment fees, but upon arrival in the United States found out they would not receive the green cards promised to them. Instead, plaintiffs were allegedly forced to pay additional fees ($1050 per month) to live in racially segregated labor camps, and were subject to squalid living conditions and threats of both legal and physical harm if they complained about the conditions or decided not to provide labor.

The complaint alleged violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (18 U.S.C. §1589 (forced labor) and 18 U.S.C. §1590 (trafficking)) and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. §1981), as well as claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract. Plaintiffs were represented by private law firms.

In Oct. 2013, the Court (Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) consolidated this case and Achari v. Signal International, Krishnakutty v. Signal International, and Devassy v. Signal International, and then transferred the consolidated case to the Eastern District of Louisiana.

On Oct. 24, 2013, the case was assigned to Judge Susie Morgan and consolidated with the Achari case. This case continues on that page.

Anna Dimon - 05/11/2015
Ava Morgenstern - 12/01/2017

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Bathing and hygiene
Disparate Treatment
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Loss or damage to property
Racial segregation
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Employer sanctions
Immigration lawyers
Temporary foreign workers program
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Asian/Pacific Islander
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589
Defendant(s) Billy R. Wilks
Dewan Consultants
Global Resources, Inc.
Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center
J&M Associates of Mississippi, Inc.
J&M Marine & Industrial, LLC
Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett
Malvern C. Burnett
Sachin Dewan
Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description 28 Indian guestworkers fraudulently recruited to work in the U.S.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-LA-0010 : David v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011 : Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0012 : Achari v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
2:13-cv-6218 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0013-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:13-cv-06219-SM-DEK (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-LA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Consolidating Cases and Transferring to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [ECF# 32] (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Guirola, Louis Jr. (S.D. Miss., W.D. Tex.)
Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
Morgan, Susie [Sue, Donna] (E.D. La.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Daniel D. (New York)
Baker, H. Gregory (New York)
Beaudette, Katelyn M. (New York)
Byrd, Sibyl C. (Mississippi)
Campbell, Benton J (New York)
Chandrika, Sarah C. (New York)
Colby, Eben P. (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000
Copley, Steven W. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Diaz, Sadie Holzman (New York)
Greenberg, Jennifer (New York)
Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Harris, Christopher R. (New York)
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Plexousakis, Renee E. (New York)
Rostoker, Jessica D. (New York)
Rowen, Zachary L. (New York)
Rowland, Elizabeth C. (New York)
Safane, Aaron M. (New York)
Salerno, Matthew S. (New York)
Simshauser, Peter (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000
Stewart, Meredith B. (Louisiana)
Taffet, Eric. L. (New York)
Wahlquist, Grant F. (New York)
Walker, Jacob A. (Massachusetts)
Walsh, Michael R. (Massachusetts)
Defendant's Lawyers Bollman, Patricia Anne F. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Buras, Daniel Edwin Jr. (Louisiana)
Carlisle, Arthur D. (Mississippi)
Cerniglia, Timothy W. (Louisiana)
Cornblatt, James L. (Louisiana)
Davis, Lauren Masur (Louisiana)
Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Hangartner, Erin Casey (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Hasenkampf, Mitchell P. (Louisiana)
Keller, Robert Louis (Louisiana)
Maney, Kevin P. (Louisiana)
Rabbani, Elham (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana)
Rydberg, Lance R. (Louisiana)
Shapiro, Stephen H. (Louisiana)
Ungar, Hal D. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001

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