Adhikari v. KBR, Inc.

2017 WL 4237923 (2017)

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Adhikari v. KBR, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
2017 WL 4237923 (2017)

Facts

Five Nepali men (the workers) (plaintiffs) worked for KBR, Inc. (defendant), a United States defense contractor, on an American military base in Iraq. The workers alleged that they were trafficked to Iraq after being promised work in Jordan. The workers filed suit against KBR in federal court in Texas, seeking relief under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATS), among others. The workers alleged that KBR personnel within the United States analyzed staffing patterns in Iraq, controlled recruitment and supply of workers from the Jordanian subcontractor, supervised workers’ medical clearances, determined pay rates, set policy for equipment used by the workers, paid the Jordanian subcontractor, received reports from various sources about the trafficking, developed responses to trafficking allegations, and provided direction about responding to trafficking. The workers further alleged that KBR personnel in the United States failed to take action to stop the trafficking and instead profited from it. KBR moved to dismiss the workers’ TVPRA and ATS claims, arguing that the TVPRA and ATS did not apply extraterritorially. The workers argued that the acts of KBR personnel within the United States were sufficient domestic action to create liability under the laws.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ellison, J.)

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