Damages in Florida Human Trafficking Lawsuits

February 3, 2021 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Damages in Florida Human Trafficking Lawsuits

What Damages Can I Seek Compensation for With a Human Trafficking Lawsuit?

Human trafficking is a crime that dehumanizes its victims while generating profit for traffickers. It is quite literally an enterprise that profits off the suffering of others. This suffering is not limited to the emotional pain that comes with being exploited for profit through force and coercion. The pains and damages that come from human trafficking are many. Economic, as well as non-economic damages, are why so many human trafficking survivors today are filing lawsuits against those whole enabled their trafficking either through negligence or complicity. 

Florida Human Trafficking Lawsuit

All corners of Florida and even the entire country have cases of human trafficking where human beings are exploited in modern slavery. Human trafficking survivors often escape from this captivity but they often face immense obstacles when they try to go back to living a normal life. These obstacles take the form of damages both economic and non-economic that can be the basis on which someone files a human trafficking lawsuit. 

Economic Damages in Human Trafficking Lawsuits

In the aftermath of someone's trafficking, they will have to overcome the obstacle of the economic damages that human trafficking caused. Economic damages are the direct financial losses that someone suffered because of another party's negligence. Economic damages will have a clear dollar value and be calculable by an economist or other similar finance professional. These damages are the basis for a human trafficking lawsuit and being able to claim these damages as well as justify their need for compensation is essential to winning a case. Human trafficking will often send a person's life off the rails and many responsibilities and prospects that they had before can be interrupted leading to severe disruption of someone's financial integrity.  The financial exploitation that someone suffered at the hands of human traffickers is often significant as well. Human trafficking is modern slavery but is often not as simple as forcing a person to work while in captivity. In many cases, human trafficking will rely on more subtle strategies like fraud where traffickers will manipulate debts, add fees, and raise interest to force or coerce their targets into forced labor. Common economic damages in human trafficking lawsuits include:
  • Lost, unpaid, or underpaid wages
  • Excessive, fraudulent or illegal “deductions from wages for rent, subsistence, transport,
  • tax or social security “payments”
  • Reimbursement of illegal “fees paid to a recruiting or employment agency or for
  • smuggling or transportation
  • Fines” imposed by traffickers for bad behavior
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of job/career opportunities while kept as a victim or because of related injuries

Non-Economic Damages 

Human trafficking inflicts an exceptional amount of pain and suffering upon those that are forced into modern slavery. This crime dehumanizes its victims and causes psychological and emotional trauma. This toll that human trafficking takes on survivors can interfere with their reintegration into normal life. Unlike non-economic damages are not as tangible and do not come with an assignable dollar value making them much more flexible to interpretation depending on the details of a case. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Psychological trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities

Criminal Prosecution and Human Trafficking

Civil law allows for those that have suffered through human trafficking the ability to seek compensation from the parties that wronged them. Human trafficking is a serious crime that is accompanied by severe punishment thanks to criminal prosecution. However, criminal prosecution of criminals doesn't include restitution for the people those criminals wronged. This is where a civil lawsuit comes in. 

Liability and Human Trafficking Lawsuits

In order to file a human trafficking lawsuit, one needs to be able to name a party or parties that are liable for the damages you have suffered. The obvious party is typically the human trafficker(s) that are directly responsible for a plaintiff's exploitation. Unfortunately, seeking compensation from the human traffickers responsible for damages a plaintiff suffered is often not an option.  In order to seek compensation from a liable party in a lawsuit there needs to be a clear ability for that liable party to provide said compensation. While a lawsuit can get significant compensation from a defendant, it does not squeeze blood from a stone. Most human traffickers that are involved in a human trafficking survivor's case are in the process of being or have been prosecuted for their crimes and do not have the means to pay compensation to a plaintiff.  Luckily, a plaintiff can seek compensation from other parties with third-party liability. Thanks to the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000, parties that profited off of the human trafficking a plaintiff was involved in can potentially be held liable in a lawsuit. Usually, these third-parties will consist of the business or property owner who profited from the human trafficking that occurred on their premises. In other cases, transport companies that should notice red flags of trafficking may fail to do something about human trafficking and may be considered liable. Some common examples of these parties include:
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Airlines
  • Bus Companies
  • Train Companies
  • Resorts
  • Farms/Nurseries
  • Spa's
  • Nail Salons
  • Restaurants

Florida Human Trafficking Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or a loved one are a survivor of human trafficking and believe that certain parties are liable for the damages that you suffered during your ordeal because of negligent actions then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group. Our attorneys are ready to provide a free consultation to hear the details of your case and provide information on what legal options are available to you. Dolman Law Group has been serving the people of Florida case by case for years and ensuring that our clients not only get compensation for the damages that they unjustly suffered but have their case fought for by attorneys that are invested in its success. Dolman Law provides experienced legal representation with the resources one would expect from a large firm while also ensuring your case is handled in a sensitive and professional manner by attorneys that will remain in contact with you every step of the way.  To set up a consultation with Dolman Law Group you can either call our office at (866) 826-1298 or fill out a contact form online Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (866) 826-1298


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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