University of Michigan Law School
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S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
Signal International Guest Worker Cases

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Alabama-based marine services company Signal International and its recruiters promised permanent residency and good employment repairing oilrigs and ships in the Gulf Coast region to over 500 Indian men, in exchange for recruiting fees ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each. In fact, the guestworkers’ H2-B visas were temporary and no green cards were available to them. Upon arrival in the United States, the men were forced into racially-segregated, guarded labor camps where they were given no option but to pay further steep fees for overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Their supervisors created a racially hostile work environment, forced them into the least desirable jobs, and threatened to deport those who reported the abuses.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit, David v. Signal International, for the abuses suffered by the guestworkers. The plaintiffs sought class action status, but that was denied. The litigation then split into 11 suits brought by groups of guestworkers and one suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. All 12 suits are summarized in the links on this page.

All told, the Signal International litigation was one of the largest human trafficking cases in U.S. history. The litigation resulted in a $14.1 million jury verdict in David for five plaintiffs, a $5 million settlement in the EEOC case for 476 guestworkers, and an apology from Signal’s CEO. Signal declared bankruptcy in June 2015, and the settlement is being administered as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 12 results Save Search As:       
1 Singh v. Signal International, LLC
2:14-cv-00732 (E.D. La.)
Filed 10/15/2013 - Closed 2014
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0016
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
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 Oct. 15, 2013, two Indian guestworkers filed ... [view]
2 Devassy v. Signal International, LLC
2:13-cv-06221 (E.D. La.)
Filed 08/14/2013 - Closed 2017
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0015
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
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. 14, 2013, 13 Indian guestworkers filed ... [view]
3 Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, LLC
2:13-cv-06219 (E.D. La.)
Filed 08/07/2013 - Closed
Signal International, Inc.
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0013
Pascagoula
Coding Complete
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 ... [view]
4 Krishnakutty v. Signal International, LLC
2:13-cv-06220 (E.D. La.)
Filed 08/07/2013 - Closed 2013
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0014
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
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, two Indian guestworkers filed ... [view]
5 Meganathan v. Signal International, LLC
1:13-cv-00497 (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 08/07/2013 - Case Ongoing
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-TX-0037
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It is stayed during defendant's bankruptcy and settlement proceedings. On Aug. 7, 2013, four Indian guestworkers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for harm ... [view]
6 Kambala v. Signal International, LLC
1:13-cv-00498 (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 08/07/2013 - Case Ongoing
Billy R. Wilks
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-TX-0038
Coding Complete
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It is stayed during defendant's bankruptcy and settlement proceedings. On Aug. 7, 2013, 16 Indian guestworkers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for harm ... [view]
7 Marimuthu v. Signal International, LLC
1:13-cv-00499 (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 08/07/2013 - Closed 2018
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-TX-0039
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It is stayed during defendant's bankruptcy and settlement proceedings. On Aug. 7, 2013, ten Indian guestworkers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for harm ... [view]
8 Samuel v. Signal International, LLC
1:13-cv-00323 (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 05/21/2013 - Case Ongoing
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-TX-0035
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans, LA
Coding Complete
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It is stayed during defendant's bankruptcy and settlement proceedings. On May 21, 2013, 17 Indian guestworkers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for harm ... [view]
9 Joseph v. Signal International, LLC
1:13-cv-00324 (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 05/21/2013 - Case Ongoing
Billy R. Wilks
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-TX-0036
Coding Complete
This case is part of the series of Signal International cases. It is stayed during defendant's bankruptcy and settlement proceedings. On May 21, 2013, 33 Indian guestworkers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for harm ... [view]
10 Achari v. Signal International, LLC
2:13-cv-06218 (E.D. La.)
Filed 03/21/2013 - Closed 2017
Dewan Consultants
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0012
Substantial Business Contacts with New Orleans
Coding Complete
This is the third case filed in the Signal International cases. On May 21, 2013, 33 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 ... [view]
11 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Signal International, LLC
2:12-cv-00557-SM-DEK (E.D. La.)
Filed 04/20/2011 - Closed 2015
Signal International, Inc.
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0011
Pascagoula
Coding Complete
This is the second case filed in the Signal International cases. On Apr. 20, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against defendant Signal International, LLC, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The ... [view]
12 David v. Signal International, LLC
2:08-cv-01220-SM-DEK (E.D. La.)
Filed 03/07/2008 - Case Ongoing
Signal International, Inc.
Immigration and/or the Border
Equal Employment
IM-LA-0010
Pascagoula
Coding Complete
This is the first case filed in the Signal International cases. On Mar. 7, 2008, twelve Indian guestworkers recruited for work in the United States in exchange for green cards filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of ... [view]
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