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
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