Case: Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, LLC

2:13-cv-06219 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: Aug. 7, 2013

Closed Date: Oct. 1, 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

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 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 employment recruitment scheme. Plaintiffs filed this suit after District Judge Jay Zainey denied class certification on Jan. 3, 2012 in a related case, IDav…

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 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 employment recruitment scheme. Plaintiffs filed this suit after District Judge Jay Zainey denied class certification on Jan. 3, 2012 in a related case, IDavid v. Signal International.

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 was based in Pascagoula, Mississippi and had operations in the Gulf Coast region. The complaint alleged 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 ($1050 per month) to live in racially segregated labor camps, 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 alleged 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 were represented by private law firms.

In Oct. 2013, the Court (Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) consolidated this case and Achari v. Signal International, Krishnakutty v. Signal International, and Devassy v. Signal International, and then transferred the consolidated case to the Eastern District of Louisiana.

On Oct. 24, 2013, the case was assigned to Judge Susie Morgan and consolidated with the Achari case. This case continues on that page.

Summary Authors

Anna Dimon (5/11/2015)

Ava Morgenstern (12/1/2017)

Related Cases

David v. Signal International, LLC, Eastern District of Louisiana (2008)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Signal International, LLC, Eastern District of Louisiana (2011)

Achari v. Signal International, LLC, Eastern District of Louisiana (2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5167262/parties/chakkiyattil-v-signal-international-llc/


Judge(s)

Guirola, Louis Jr. (Mississippi)

Knowles, Daniel E. III (Louisiana)

Morgan, Susie [Sue, Donna] (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

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)

Judge(s)

Guirola, Louis Jr. (Mississippi)

Knowles, Daniel E. III (Louisiana)

Morgan, Susie [Sue, Donna] (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

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)

Copley, Steven W. (Louisiana)

Diaz, Sadie Holzman (New York)

Greenberg, Jennifer (New York)

Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana)

Harris, Christopher R. (New York)

McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)

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)

Stewart, Meredith B. (Louisiana)

Taffet, Eric. L. (New York)

Ungar, Hal D. (Louisiana)

Wahlquist, Grant F. (New York)

Walker, Jacob A. (Massachusetts)

Walsh, Michael R. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bollman, Patricia Anne F. (Louisiana)

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)

Hangartner, Erin Casey (Louisiana)

Hasenkampf, Mitchell P. (Louisiana)

Keller, Robert Louis (Louisiana)

Maney, Kevin P. (Louisiana)

Rabbani, Elham (Louisiana)

Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana)

Rydberg, Lance R. (Louisiana)

Shapiro, Stephen H. (Louisiana)

Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:13-cv-06218

Docket

Achari v. Signal International, LLC

June 19, 2015

June 19, 2015

Docket

2:13-cv-06219

Docket [PACER]

June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017

Docket
1

2:13-cv-06219

Complaint

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Aug. 7, 2013

Aug. 7, 2013

Complaint
32

1:13-cv-00222

Order Consolidating Cases and Transferring to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Oct. 18, 2013

Oct. 18, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5167262/chakkiyattil-v-signal-international-llc/

Last updated June 8, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
32

ORDER granting Motion to Change Venue. Consolidated cases are transferred to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana; and granting Motion to Consolidate Cases. Civil Action Nos. 1:13cv318 and 1:13cv319 shall be consolidated, as member cases, with Civil Action No. 1:13cv222, which shall serve as the lead case. All subsequent pleadings relating to these causes of action should be filed in the LEAD case only. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. on 10/18/13. (RLW)[Transferred from mssd on 10/23/2013.]

Oct. 18, 2013

Oct. 18, 2013

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Signal International Guest Worker Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 7, 2013

Closing Date: Oct. 1, 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

28 Indian guestworkers fraudulently recruited to work in the U.S.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Southern Poverty Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Signal International, Inc. (Pascagoula), Private Entity/Person

J&M Associates of Mississippi, Inc. , Private Entity/Person

J&M Marine & Industrial, LLC, Private Entity/Person

Billy R. Wilks (Moss Point), None

Global Resources, Inc. , Private Entity/Person

Dewan Consultants (Substantial Business Contacts with Pascagoula, MS), Private Entity/Person

Sachin Dewan (Substantial Business Contacts with Pascagoula, MS), None

Malvern C. Burnett (Ocean Springs), None

Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett (Ocean Springs), None

Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

State law

Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: 5,000,000

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Disparate Treatment

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Housing

Loss or damage to property

Racial segregation

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

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

Race:

Asian/Pacific Islander

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit

Immigration/Border:

Employer sanctions

Employment

Immigration lawyers

Temporary foreign workers program

U.S. citizenship - acquiring

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Indian