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Case Name Devassy v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0015
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-06221 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
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. 14, 2013, 13 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. The plaintiffs filed this suit after District Judge Jay Zainey denied class certification on January 3, 2012 in a related case, David v. Signal International. 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. The plaintiffs were represented by private law firms.

Plaintiffs were allegedly brought into the United States to provide labor and services to the 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 alleged that the 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 ($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.

On Oct. 17, 2013, the District Court (Judge Robert H. Walker) entered an order consolidating this matter with the Achari case. The Court (Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr.) then transferred this case and Achari, Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, and Krishnakutty v. Signal International LLC to the Eastern District of Louisiana. On October 24, 2013, the case was assigned to Judge Susie Morgan and consolidated with the Achari case.

The Court closed the Achari case on May 26, 2017 without prejudice due to settlement agreement. The settlement established a claims process and ensures that all aggrieved individuals included in the litigation may receive relief in spite of the bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to monetary relief, Signal International's CEO issued a statement acknowledging the company's wrongdoing and apologizing for its treatment of the guest workers. The Court retained jurisdiction such that any party may reopen the case if any of the unlocated plaintiffs are located so that they may be paid pursuant to the settlement agreement.

Anna Dimon - 05/12/2015
Virginia Weeks - 10/14/2016
Ava Morgenstern - 12/02/2017
Sichun Liu - 04/01/2019

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Issues and Causes of Action
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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) Dewan Consultants
Global Resources, Inc.
Gulf Coast Immigration Law Center
Indo-Amerisoft, L.L.C.
Kurella Rao
Law Offices of Malvern C. Burnett
Malvern C. Burnett
Michael Pol
Sachin Dewan
Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description 13 Indian guestworkers fraudulently recruited to work in the U.S.
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 Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 08/14/2013
Case Closing Year 2017
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
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Court Docket(s)
E.D. La.
IM-LA-0015-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Miss.
Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 1]
IM-LA-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Miss.
Order Consolidating Cases [ECF# 20]
IM-LA-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
Morgan, Susie [Sue, Donna] (E.D. La.) show/hide docs
Walker, Robert H. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bhargava, Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Byrd, Sibyl C. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Campbell, Benton J (New York) show/hide docs
Fabrikant, Robert (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Grimsal, A. Gregory (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Lacks, Jeremy R. (New York) show/hide docs
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Raptis, Stephen T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Safane, Aaron M. (New York) show/hide docs
Yuan, Howard H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana) show/hide docs

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