Human trafficking lawsuit against Signal International goes to trial in New Orleans; includes company statement

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
12 January 2015

Giant Human Smuggling Trial Begins Today

Author: Sabrina Canfield, Courthouse News Service

Trial begins Monday in a federal class action accusing Signal International of human trafficking and labor abuses in the massive construction work needed after Hurricane Katrina. Roughly 500 workers, mostly from India and the United Arab Emirates, claim Signal lured them to the United States with false promises of permanent U.S. residency and charged them "travel fees" of as much as $20,000 apiece for jobs at shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss. and Orange, Texas…The class action was filed in 2008 by 12 lead plaintiffs who said they were forced to work long hours for next to nothing and had money deducted from their checks each month for housing in an overcrowded, unsanitary labor camp. At least five similar lawsuits against Signal have been filed in Mississippi and Texas courts...

Read the full post here

Article
12 January 2015

SPLC goes to trial in first phase of one of largest human trafficking cases in U.S. history

Author: Southern Poverty Law Center

Opening arguments begin today in a federal lawsuit brought by the SPLC on behalf of guest workers from India who were lured to a Mississippi shipyard by false promises of permanent U.S. residency only to find themselves forced into servitude and living under guard in an overcrowded, unsanitary labor camp. The New Orleans trial is part of a seven-year legal battle against Signal International, a marine services company that operates in Mississippi, Alabama and Texas. The trial, to be held before a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, is the first in a series of suits spearheaded by the SPLC that together comprise one of the largest human trafficking cases in U.S. history.

Read the full post here

Article
12 January 2015

[PDF] Kurian David v. Signal International [Statement from Signal International]

Author: Signal International

Signal International is a regional marine fabrication company situated on the gulf coast in Alabama and Mississippi. In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Signal’s operations in Orange, TX and Pascagoula, MS experienced a severe shortage of skilled labor…Signal was approached by labor providers and an immigration attorney who proposed it hire temporary guest workers who were skilled craftsmen under the United States’ H-2B temporary worker program. Those workers came to the US; a number of workers left and made serious accusations in lawsuits they filed against Signal seeking to create a class action. Kurian David v. Signal International, the first such case, begins jury selection on Monday, January 12, 2015…Signal has always maintained the plaintiffs’ claims are meritless, and has vigorously defended itself for over seven years.