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Case Name Devassy v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0015
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-06221 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Case Summary
On August 14, 2013, 13 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 14, 2013, 13 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 allegedly brought into the United States to provide labor and services to Defendant Signal International, a company, based in Pascagoula, Mississippi with operations in the Gulf Coast region, in the business of providing repairs to offshore oil rigs. 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 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.

On October 17, 2013, the District Court (Judge Robert H. Walker) entered an order consolidating this matter with the Achari case IM-LA-0012. The court then (Chief United States District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) transferred this case and IM-LA-0012, IM-LA-0013, IM-LA-0014 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.

Discovery continued through 2015. Though a trial was initially scheduled for early 2016, settlement discussions began instead and are still ongoing.

Anna Dimon - 05/12/2015
Virginia Weeks - 10/14/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Bathing and hygiene
Disparate Treatment
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Housing
Loss or damage to property
Racial segregation
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration
Employer sanctions
Employment
Immigration lawyers
Temporary foreign workers program
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
National Origin/Ethnicity
Indian
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Defendant(s) Dewan Consultants
Global Resources, Inc.
Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center
Indo-Amerisoft, L.L.C.
Kurella Rao
Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett
Malvern C. Burnett
Michael Pol
Sachin Dewan
Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description 13 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.)
Docket(s)
2:13-cv-6218 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0015-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/26/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Jury Demand
IM-LA-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/13/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Consolidating Cases (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0015-9001
Morgan, Donna Sue (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Walker, Robert H. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0015-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bhargava, Michael (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Byrd, Sibyl C. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Campbell, Benton J (New York)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Fabrikant, Robert (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Lacks, Jeremy R. (New York)
IM-LA-0015-0001
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Raptis, Stephen T. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Safane, Aaron M. (New York)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Yuan, Howard H. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0015-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0015-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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