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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
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Case Summary
On August 7, 2013, 28 Indian guestworkers filed suit in the United States 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 ... read more >
On August 7, 2013, 28 Indian guestworkers filed suit in the United States 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 January 3, 2012 in a related case, IM-LA-0010.

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 is based in Pascagoula, Mississippi and has operations in the Gulf Coast region. The complaint alleges 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 to live in racially segregated labor camps ($1050 per month), 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 alleges 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 are represented by private law firms.

In October 2013, the court (Chief United States District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) transferred this case and IM-LA-0012, IM-LA-0014, IM-LA-0015 to the Eastern District of Louisiana. On October 24, 2013, the case was assigned to Judge Susie Morgan and consolidated with the Achari case, IM-LA-0012, for discovery purposes. A jury trial in the Chakkiyattil case is set for the week beginning Monday, January 4, 2016.

Anna Dimon - 05/11/2015

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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 State law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
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 None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

2:13-cv-06219-SM-DEK (E.D. La.) 10/24/2013
IM-LA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:13-cv-6218 (E.D. La.) 06/19/2015
IM-LA-0013-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/07/2013
IM-LA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Document 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 10/18/2013 (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Guirola, Louis Jr. (S.D. Miss., W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
Morgan, Donna Sue (E.D. La.)
Monitors/Masters None on record
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
Other Lawyers None on record

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