Davis Polk has concluded a five-year civil litigation in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of a Korean woman who was trafficked into the United States on the promise of employment with a Korean family. The woman was never paid, and instead endured nearly 12 years of psychological abuse at the hands of various family members. Davis Polk, working with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, brought claims on her behalf under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the 13th Amendment, the Fair Labor Standards Act, RICO and provisions of New York law.
After years of extensive and highly contentious disputes over depositions and written discovery, and following a number of settlements and extensive motion practice, the case finally came to a close on March 29, 2016. Judge Irizarry, accepting a detailed report and recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, entered judgment against the sole remaining defaulting defendant in the amount of $934,051.98 (to be offset by any amounts collected under the settlement agreements).
This is one of the first civil cases to be brought under the TVPA and it is an amazing achievement for the client and for the team. The team was led by counsel Michael Scheinkman and associate Alicia Llosa Chang, who were assisted over the years by associates Deryn Darcy and Tina Hwa Joe and former associates Sallie Kim, Ben Mills, Matthew Maddox and Lauren Schorr. Partners Greg Andres and Frances Bivens provided supervision.