University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0013
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-06219 ( E.D. La. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:13-cv-06218   [ 13-6218 ]  Eastern District of LA (U.S.)
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Attorney Organization Southern Poverty Law Center
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 ... read more >
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.

Anna Dimon - 05/11/2015
Ava Morgenstern - 12/01/2017

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Bathing and hygiene
Disparate Treatment
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Loss or damage to property
Racial segregation
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Employer sanctions
Immigration lawyers
Temporary foreign workers program
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Asian/Pacific Islander
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589
Defendant(s) Billy R. Wilks
Dewan Consultants
Global Resources, Inc.
Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center
J&M Associates of Mississippi, Inc.
J&M Marine & Industrial, LLC
Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett
Malvern C. Burnett
Sachin Dewan
Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description 28 Indian guestworkers fraudulently recruited to work in the U.S.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 08/07/2013
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
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.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
E.D. La.
IM-LA-0013-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. La.
IM-LA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Miss.
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-LA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Miss.
Order Consolidating Cases and Transferring to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [ECF# 32]
IM-LA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Guirola, Louis Jr. (W.D. Tex., S.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
Morgan, Susie [Sue, Donna] (E.D. La.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Daniel D. (New York) show/hide docs
Baker, H. Gregory (New York) show/hide docs
Beaudette, Katelyn M. (New York) show/hide docs
Byrd, Sibyl C. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Campbell, Benton J (New York) show/hide docs
Chandrika, Sarah C. (New York) show/hide docs
Colby, Eben P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000
Copley, Steven W. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Diaz, Sadie Holzman (New York) show/hide docs
Greenberg, Jennifer (New York) show/hide docs
Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Harris, Christopher R. (New York) show/hide docs
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Plexousakis, Renee E. (New York) show/hide docs
Rostoker, Jessica D. (New York) show/hide docs
Rowen, Zachary L. (New York) show/hide docs
Rowland, Elizabeth C. (New York) show/hide docs
Safane, Aaron M. (New York) show/hide docs
Salerno, Matthew S. (New York) show/hide docs
Simshauser, Peter (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-0001 | IM-LA-0013-9000
Stewart, Meredith B. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Taffet, Eric. L. (New York) show/hide docs
Wahlquist, Grant F. (New York) show/hide docs
Walker, Jacob A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
Walsh, Michael R. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Bollman, Patricia Anne F. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Buras, Daniel Edwin Jr. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Carlisle, Arthur D. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Cerniglia, Timothy W. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Cornblatt, James L. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Davis, Lauren Masur (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Hangartner, Erin Casey (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Hasenkampf, Mitchell P. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Keller, Robert Louis (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Maney, Kevin P. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Rabbani, Elham (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Rydberg, Lance R. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Shapiro, Stephen H. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Ungar, Hal D. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0013-9000 | IM-LA-0013-9001

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -