Ratha v. Phatthana Seafood Co., 35 F.4th 1159 (9th Cir. 2022)

Plaintiffs in this case (Cambodian villagers) alleged they had been trafficked into Thailand and subjected to forced labor at seafood processing factories in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (18 U.S.C. § 1595) (“TVPRA”). The district court granted defendants’ summary judgment motion, which the Ninth Circuit affirmed in this case. The Court of Appeals assumed without deciding that TVPRA may apply extraterritorially, but concluded that the companies in question did not have sufficient minimum contacts with the United States for the statute to apply to them. Moreover, there was no evidence that two Thai companies registered to conduct business in California either knowingly benefitted from the other companies’ alleged human trafficking or knew or should have known of the alleged violations of TVPRA. Compare Owino v. CoreCivic, Inc., 2022 WL 1815825 (9th Cir. 2022) (Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s order certifying three class actions brought under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (“forced labor”) and applicable employment law by individuals incarcerated in private immigration detention facilities owned and operated by CoreCivic, a for-profit corporation).