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Woman sues seafood companies over alleged use of slave labor

By Hoang Tran | Oct 8, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - A California woman last month filed a lawsuit against a group of seafood companies over their alleged use of slave labor.

Plaintiff Donna D. Rose, individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit on Sept. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, Tri-Union Frozen Products Inc. and Thai Union Group PCL for violations of the state's consumer protection laws.

Rose alleges that the defendants recognized that the use of slave labor is wrong, but continued to use forced slave labor to produce their seafood products, failed to disclose the use of slave labor in their supply chain and deceived their consumer base about their use of slave labor.

The plaintiff claims the defendants used men and boys who have been trafficked from nearby countries on their fishing trawlers in order to continuously bring in products, while simultaneously ignoring slave labor laws and the environmental effects.

Rose also alleges that the companies have never disclosed their usage of slave labor, thereby deceiving the public.

Rose is suing for an undisclosed amount of money, court fees and damages as a result of the defendants' unfair and deceptive business practices. She is seeking a declaration that the defendants' actions were unlawful, unfair and/or deceptive, and an injunction forcing the defendants to stop their unlawful business practices.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Elaine T. Byszewski, Steve W. Berman, Ashley A. Bede and Christopher R. Pitoun of Hagans Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Seattle, Wash., and Pasedena, Calif.

U.S. District Court, Central California District Court case number 2:15-cv-07540-SJO-JC

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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP

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