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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Singh v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0016
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-00732 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Case Summary
On October 15, 2013, two Indian guest-workers 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 ... read more >
On October 15, 2013, two Indian guest-workers 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, David v. Signal International, LLC (IM-LA-0010 in this Clearinghouse).

The plaintiffs claimed that they were brought into the United States to provide labor and services to the defendant, Signal International, a company providing repairs to offshore oil rigs based in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with operations in the Gulf Coast region. The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs paid Signal's recruiters as much as $16,000 for travel, visa, and recruitment fees, but upon arrival in the United States discovered that they would not receive the green cards promised to them. Instead, the plaintiffs were forced to pay additional fees to live in racially-segregated labor camps ($1,050 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.

Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 1589 et seq.) and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981), as well as claims for fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract.

In March 2014, the court (Chief United States District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) transferred this case to the Eastern District of Louisiana. In April 2014, Judge Susie Morgan ordered that this case be consolidated with the Achari case (IM-LA-0012 in this Clearinghouse) for discovery purposes.

In January 2014, Signal moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' state law claims, claim for recruitment fees under Section 1981, and claim for recruitment fees, inbound travel expenses, and visa expenses under FLSA contained in Plaintiffs' third amended complaint. In August 2014, Judge Susie Morgan denied Signal's 12(c) motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claim for recruitment fees under Section 1981 is as moot. 37 F.Supp.3d 822. The judge held that plaintiffs' complaint did not seek recruitment fees, but only sought “compensatory damages for the deprivation of plaintiffs' civil rights during their time in Signal's employment" up to the point of their termination. Because plaintiffs did not pray for compensatory damages related to the recruitment fees they incurred prior to or after working at Signal under Section 1981. Accordingly, the 12(c) motion by Signal was denied as moot. The judge also denied the following motions by Signal: motion to dismiss state law claims based on extraterritoriality; motion to decline the district court's exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs' state law claims. 37 F.Supp.3d 822, 828-30. But the judge granted defendant Signal's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' FLSA claim for inbound travel and visa expenses. 37 F. Supp. 3d 822, 828.

On October 14, 2014, the court denied Signal's motion to certify for interlocutory appeal or alternatively to stay pending application for mandamus relief. The court found that the criteria for interlocutory appeal were not present and that a discretionary stay pending the outcome of a petition for mandamus relief was not warranted. 37 F. Supp. 3d 836.

The parties then filed cross-motions for summary judgment. On January 6, 2015, the court denied defendant Signal's motion for partial summary judgment on the plaintiffs' claim for relief under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPA”). 2015 WL 75276. The court held that the TVPA claims here were not extraterritorial because the trafficking occurred inside the United States and that " serious harm" under pre-amendment Section 1589 includes financial harm. The court ultimately denied the motion for summary judgment, because it found that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether Signal acted with the requisite intent required by pre-amendment Section 1589.

On March 5, 2015, the court set the jury trial date to February 2016 for the Singh case.

On July 1, 2015, the law firm who provided immigration law services to Signal and the plaintiffs filed a cross-claim against Signal, claiming that Signal had misrepresented its conduct and falsely accused the law firm, causing the law firm to pay damages to a plaintiff in the related case, David v. Signal International, LLC.

On September, 28, 2015, the parties held a settlement conference but failed to reach a settlement. The Dewan defendants, however, entered into a settlement for their case with the plaintiffs on December 18, 2015.

The trial is ongoing as of October 30, 2016.

Anna Dimon - 05/12/2015
Soojin Cha - 10/30/2016


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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
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 State law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Dewan Consultants
Global Resources, Inc.
Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center
Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett
Malvern C. Burnett
Sachin Dewan
Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description 2 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-6221 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:13-cv-6218 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint, Demand for Jury Trial
IM-LA-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/11/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Transferring Case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0016-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (37 F.Supp.3d 822) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/13/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion (2015 WL 75276) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/06/2015
Source: Westlaw
Order (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/05/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Pre-Trial Order (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (2015 WL 7777978) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/02/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Guirola, Louis Jr. (W.D. Tex., S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0016-0002
Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Morgan, Donna Sue (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016-0003 | IM-LA-0016-0004 | IM-LA-0016-0006 | IM-LA-0016-0007 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abdelkarim, Mostafa M. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Adams, Daniel D. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-0005 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Aiello, Justin P. (Florida)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Alshak, Ryan J. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Arvelo, Jose E. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-0001 | IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Asher, Joshua D. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Baker, H. Gregory (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Batchelor, Craig Alan (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Beaudette, Katelyn M. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Beckles, Tricia (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Bhargava, Michael (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Blechman, Michael (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Blum, Ronald G. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Broad, Eric Marshall (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Bullerman, Michael S. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Byrd, Sibyl C. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0016-0001
Campbell, Benton J (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Capasso, Daniele J. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Case, Andrew (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Chandrika, Sarah C. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Chatham, Asra A. (Florida)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Chen, Eric B. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Churchill, Mark H. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Clark, Scott W. (Texas)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Colby, Eben P. (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Copley, Steven W. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Diaz, Sadie Holzman (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Fabrikant, Robert (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Gimblett, Jonathan (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-0001
Grabill, Meredith S. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Greenberg, Jennifer (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-0005 | IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Harris, Christopher R. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0016-0001
Johnson, Danielle E. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Kanny, Matthew P. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Kline, Robert M. (Florida)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Krumm, Marissa C. (Florida)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Lacks, Jeremy R. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Low, John C. (Texas)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Lugerner, Andrew Richard (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0016-0001 | IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Mehta, Mona (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Parver, Jane W. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Plexousakis, Renee E. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Raptis, Stephen T. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rheinheimer, Christopher A. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Romey, Michael A. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rosenbaum, Yonina (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rostoker, Jessica D. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rowen, Zachary L. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rowland, Elizabeth C. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Ruthberg, Miles N. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Safane, Aaron M. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Salerno, Matthew S. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Sherman, Randolph S. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Simshauser, Peter (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Soule, Rebekah L. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Spears, Steven G. (Texas)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Sprague, Ashley M. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Stewart, Meredith B. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Szivos, Thomas J. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Taffet, Eric. L. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Uhlemann, Justin B. (Florida)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Wahlquist, Grant F. (New York)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Walker, Jacob A. (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Walsh, Michael R. (Massachusetts)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Werner, Daniel (Georgia)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Wilkinson, Kirk A. (California)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Willis, Jillian (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0016-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bollman, Patricia Anne F. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Buras, Daniel Edwin Jr. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Carlisle, Arthur D. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Cerniglia, Timothy W. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Cornblatt, James L. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Hangartner, Erin Casey (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Hasenkampf, Mitchell P. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Keller, Robert Louis (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Maney, Kevin P. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Rabbani, Elham (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Rydberg, Lance R. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001
Shapiro, Stephen H. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-0005 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Ungar, Hal D. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9000 | IM-LA-0016-9001
Other Lawyers Davis, Lauren Masur (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0016-9001

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