Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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CLASS ALLEGATIONS

49. This action is brought and may properly be maintained as a class action pursuant to the provision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a), 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3). Plaintiffs seek certification of the following class and subclasses:a)formerly enslaved plaintiffs who where enslaved post-emancipation-all living African-Americans who were enslaved in the United States post-emancipation as a result of the lingering effects of the institution of slavery in this country.

b)Direct descendants of slavery whose parents were enslaved in the United States and who can identify an industry identified in the complaint;

c)Direct descendants of slavery whose parent(s) were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants' predecessor who utilized plaintiffs' ancestor's labor or received a profit directly as a result of the parent's particular connection to that defendant;

d)Second generation descendants of slavery whose grandparents were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants predecessors or who profited from their enslavement;

e)Second generation descendants of slavery whose grandparents were enslaved were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants predecessors or who profited from their enslavement;

f)All other subsequent generations of descendants of enslaved Africans who were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants predecessors or who profited from their enslavement;

g)All other subsequent generations of descendants of enslaved Africans who were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants predecessors or who profited from their enslavement;

h)Third generation descendants of slavery whose great grandparents were enslaved were enslaved by Defendants or Defendants predecessors or who profited from their enslavement;

i)All descendants of enslaved Africans who purchased product from the defendant corporations and who would not have done so had defendants' accurately described their involvement in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

50. The exact number of plaintiff class members is not known. Plaintiffs estimate that the class includes millions of African-American descendants of enslaved Africans and the plaintiffs estimate that the combined number of persons in each subclass is so numerous that joiners of individual members is impracticable. The number and identities of the class members can only be ascertained through appropriate investigation and discovery.

51. There are questions of fact and law are common to the class including one or more of the following which predominate over any questions affecting only class members:a)Whether defendants knowingly, intentionally and systematically benefited from the use of enslaved laborers;

b)Whether defendants wrongly converted to their own use and for their own benefit, the slave labor and services of the plaintiffs' ancestors, as well as, the products and profits from such slave labor;

c)Whether the defendants knew or should have known that they were assisting and acting as accomplices in immoral and inhuman deprivation of life and liberty;

d)Whether defendants have been unjustly enriched by their wrongful conduct;

e)Whether, as a result of this horrific and wrongful conduct by the defendants, the plaintiff class is entitled to restitution or other equitable relief, or to compensatory or punitive damages.

f)Whether plaintiff should be allowed to receive documents as a separate claim in instant action;

g)Whether or not defendants' actions constituted a crime against humanity for which plaintiffs are entitled to judgment in accordance with Secondary Liability issues;

h)Whether the defendants' acts constituted a violation of 42 U.S.C.S. Section 1982;

i)Whether the defendants' acts through theories of Second Party Liability constitute a violation of numerous torts;

j)Whether the defendants engaged in unfair deceptive, fraudulent or unconscionable business or trade practices, acts, or omissions; and

k)Whether the defendants engaged in unconscionable or unfair methods of competition.

l)Whether the Defendants took the property of the formerly enslaved Plaintiffs, the enslaved parents of the Plaintiffs, the enslaved great-grand parents of the Plaintiff and other enslaved fore parents of the Plaintiffs without having title to such property, thus, diminishing the amount of money or property the Plaintiffs are otherwise heir to and entitled to.

52. Because of the number of the claimants, the relatively small amount of each individual's claim, when measured against the total amount due the class, a class action is the appropriate method for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy in order to avoid a multiplicity of suits and possible inconsistent results.

53. The claims of the individually named Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the plaintiff class members. Plaintiffs and all members of the plaintiff class have been similarly affected by the defendants common course of conduct and the members of each class have similar claims against the defendants. The claims of all class members depend on a showing of the defendants' common course of conduct, as described herein, which gives plaintiffs, individually and as class representatives, the right to the relief sought herein.

54. There is no conflict as between plaintiffs and the other members of the class with respect to this action or the claims for relief. Plaintiffs know and understand their asserted rights and their role as class representatives.

55. Plaintiffs and their attorneys are able to and will fairly, and adequately, protect the interest of the Class. Several of plaintiffs' attorneys are experienced class action litigators who are or will be able to conduct the proposed litigation. Plaintiffs' attorneys can vigorously prosecute the rights of the proposed class members.

56. Prosecution of separate actions by individual plaintiffs will create the risk of inconsistent and varying adjudications and will establish incompatible standards of conduct for defendants in that different Courts may order defendants to provide different types of accounting or take other inconsistent actions.

57. Prosecutions of separate actions by individual plaintiffs of other proposed class members not party to the adjudications will substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interest in that, for example, defendants may exhaust their available funds in satisfying the claims of earlier plaintiffs to the detriment of later plaintiffs.

58. Defendants have acted and/or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the proposed class, making final injunctive relief and correspondent declaratory relief appropriate with respect to the class as a whole in that defendants have been unjustly enriched by participation in acts that were known to be immoral and inhumane, and defendants: (a) prevented and or refused restitution to the proposed class members, (b) prevented and/or refused to disgorge wrongfully gained and/or earned profits and benefits, or (c) refused to provide a full and complete accounting and disclosure of the extent of their aforesaid actions and refused to return the property taken without title to the Plaintiffs, the rightful heirs of the original owners entitled to possession of such property.

59. Common questions of law and fact predominate in the claims of all class members, including the named plaintiffs. These claims depend on proving defendants are liable for their acts and/or omissions based, in part, on evidence of a common scheme. Plaintiffs' and the plaintiff class members' proposed evidentiary showings would be based on the same documents and testimony concerning the defendants' actions.

60. A class action is superior to the other available methods for the fair, just and efficient adjudication of the controversy. Plaintiffs and the plaintiff class members have no interest in individually controlling the prosecution of separate actions and, instead are on the whole incapable as practical matter of pursuing individual claims. Even if individual class members had the resources to pursue individual litigation, it would be unduly burdensome to the Courts in which the individual litigation would proceed. Individual litigation magnifies the delay and expenses to all parties in that the Court system of resolving the controversies engendered by defendants/individual and/or common course of conduct. The class action device allows a single court to provide the benefits of unitary adjudication, judicial economy and the fair and equitable handling of all plaintiffs' claims in a single forum. The conduct of this action as a class action conserves the resources of the parties and of the judicial system, and reserves the rights of each class member. Furthermore, for most class members, a class action is the only feasible mechanism that allows them an opportunity for legal redress and justice. A large concentration of proposed class members is estimated to reside in this District and nearby states. The management of the litigation as a class would pose few problems for this Court.

61. Certification of the plaintiff class is appropriate under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) and also under 23(b)(2), 23(b)(3).

62. The named Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class members in that their interests are in accordance with and not antagonistic to other members of the class and they have retained competent attorneys to prosecute this claim.

63. A number of the plaintiffs have begun the application process to be named as the administrator of their enslaved ancestors' estates for the purpose of representing those enslaved ancestors in this action.

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann - Class Representative

64. Plaintiff DEADRIA FARMER-PAELLMANN, a New York resident and lead plaintiff in these consolidated actions, submits this complaint on behalf of all Africans enslaved in the United States, and to honor the memory of the many pioneers in the struggle for slavery reparations. Of particular note is the seminal work done by the pioneer Queen Mother Audley E. Moore.

65. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Clara and Abel Hinds, Africans who were enslaved on a South Carolina sea island rice plantation. On the eve of the Civil War, Clara and Abel Hinds ran away from their slave master. For two weeks they hid in swamps as they crept toward freedom. They later settled in Georgetown, South Carolina where three generations of their progeny were born, including Farmer-Paellmann's: great-grandmother, Alice Hinds-Capers; grandfather, Willie Capers; mother, Wilhelmina Capers-Farmer; and her maternal aunt Rosa Capers-Jones.

66. Clara Hinds and Abel Hinds ran away from their slave master. For two weeks they hid in swamps as they crept toward freedom. They later settled in Georgetown, South Carolina where three generations of their progeny were born, including Farmer-Paellmann's: great-grandmother, Alice Hinds-Capers; who are now deceased.

67. Clara Hind, Abel Hinds were victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendants, especially Fleetboston Financial Corporation, Aetna Inc., CSX and their predecessors. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of her great-grand parents preventing her from inheriting such property.

Mary Lacey Madison - Class Representative

68. Plaintiff MARY LACEY MADISON is a New York resident, born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1910, to James and Martha Doles Lacey whose ancestors were slaves in the agricultural, cotton and tobacco industry in Virginia and North Carolina. Mary's maternal grandfather was, as a child, given to his last owner as a Christmas present.

69. Mary's great grandfather was victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendant, in particular by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp., Fleetboston Financial Corporation, Aetna Casualty, CZX and/or their predecessors. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of her great-grand parents preventing her from inheriting such property.

70. Andre Carrington - Class Representative

71. Plaintiff ANDRE CARRINGTON is a Bronx, New York resident whose ancestors on both his mother and father's side, were slaves in North Carolina, and upon information and belief, were involved in the cotton and tobacco industries.

72. Andre Carrington is 46 years old. His great-great grandfather, Charlie Wright Williams, was a slave in Dublin County, North Carolina. The town is Wallace North Carolina. Charlie Wright was a slave until the age of 12. He was married to Phyllis Murry Williams. Charlie's mother, Martha Katherine was born a slave in 1835 and married Charlie's father, a slave named James Williams. They were victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendants, in particular by RJ. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp., Fleetboston Financial Corporation, Aetna Casualty, CZX and/or their predecessors. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of her great-grand parents preventing her from inheriting such property.

73. Estate of Edlee Bankhead - Class Representative

74. Plaintiff, who passed since the suit was filed and is now represented by his son John Bankhead, was a Corinth, Mississippi resident whose father and mother, Elex Bankhead and Liza Jane (Moore) Bankhead were enslaved in the agricultural industry in Mississippi.

75. Plaintiff Edlee Bankhead was born on XX/XX/1883, saw a life of hard, physical labor, as he worked at farming, logging and picking cotton. Bankhead was born only 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, and only six years after the post Civil War reconstruction. Bankhead spoke of slavery: Back then, black folks was no more than animals. They were just bought and sold. Bankhead described sharecropping where each family under the boss or landowner, was given a pack of meal and a pound of meat per week. He further added:

We worked. Harvest time come and then we didn't have nothing. They [The land-owners] would take everything. Many of them got rich doing that....

Plaintiff's ancestors were harmed by the defendants, especially Society of Lloyd's, Lehman Brothers, Union Pacific. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of his parents, grand parents, and great-grand parents preventing him from inheriting such property.

Richard E. Barber, Sr. (“Barber”)- Class Representative

76. Plaintiff RICHARD E. BARBER, SR. was victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendant.

77. Plaintiff Richard E. Barber, Sr. is a New Jersey resident whose ancestors were enslaved in the agricultural industry and other industries.

78. Plaintiff is a resident of Somerset, New Jersey.

79. Mr. Barber is the grandson and great-grandson of enslaved Africans. His great-grandfather, Peter Barber, was born into slavery in 1820 in Trenton, North Carolina. His grandfather, William Mae Barber, was likewise born into slavery in 1840, along with his three sisters, Anna, Hula, and Julia and his two brothers, John and Seth. Peter Barber was a farmer and William Mae, was a master carpenter. William Mae Barber built many of the stately homes that still stand along Route 58 South in Trenton, North Carolina. The plaintiff, Richard Barber, recalls delivering newspapers, cutting lawns and raking leaves of many of the residents of the homes his grandfather built. Richard Barber's father, John, was a sharecropper. Plaintiff is victimized by Defendants, especially New York Life Insurance, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Norfolk Southern who have taken the property of his enslaved fore parents and failed to return same to him.

Hannah Hurdle-Toomey and The Estate of Andrew Jackson Hurdle - Class Representative

80. Plaintiff Hurdle-Toomey lives in Belleview, Illinois. She is the youngest surviving daughter of Andrew Jackson Hurdle, a former slave, now deceased.

81. Andrew Jackson Hurdle was born on XX/XX/45 and died on 11/27/1935. Mr. Hurdle was 10 years old when he was sold away from his family and brought into slavery.

82. He eventually ran away from slavery at 16 years old. He had suffered family separation, physical and psychological abuse and deprivation of basic human rights.

83. Plaintiff Hannah Hurdle Toomey has petitioned the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois to be appointed as the Independent administrator of her father's estate. Andrew Jackson hurdle was victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendants. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of her parents preventing her from inheriting such property.

Marcelle Porter and The Estate of Hettie Pierce - Class Representative

84. Plaintiff Marcelle Besteda Porter is 72 years old. She is a native of Chicago. Her great grand-mother, Hettie Pierce was enslaved in North Carolina. Marcelle Porter has petitioned the Court to open an estate on behalf of her great grand mother and to be appointed as the Independent administrator of her great grand mother's estate. She brings this lawsuit on behalf of herself and her great grandmother's estate and all others similarly situated. Plaintiff and Hettie Pierce were victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendant. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of his parents, grand parents, and great-grand parents preventing him from inheriting such property. She has petitioned the Circuit Court of Cook County to be appointed as the Independent administrator of her grand-mother's estate. Marcelle Porter is a customer of Defendant, JP Morgan Chase. But for this Defendant's deception, she would not have been its customer.

Julie Mae Wyatt-Kervin (“Mae Wyatt-Kervin- Class Representative

85. Plaintiff Mae Wyatt-Kervin was born on XX/XX/1903. She is the daughter of enslaved Africans, Jake Wyatt and Louise Wyatt. Both Jake and Louise Wyatt were slaves in Wharton County, Taxes. Both Jake and Louise Wyatt were victimized by the atrocities of the institution of slavery instigated, supported and financed by one or more of the defendant. Plaintiff as well was impoverished by Defendants taking the property of her parents, grand parents, and great-grand parents preventing her from inheriting such property.

The Estate of Emma Marie Clark - Class Representative

86. EMMA MARIE CLARK was, until her death on July 4th 2003, a resident of Texas. On information and belief, she was enslaved in the agriculture industry in Louisiana from about 1927 through 1934. She does not know her precise age, but has been told she was born in Louisiana between 1904 and 1908.

87. Emma Clark was forced to work 18 to 21 hour days in the dairy, doing housework, and looking after guests in a boardinghouse on the farm. She was never paid for her services and was severely beaten if the couple was not satisfied with her work. She was forced to have sexual relations with men for the purpose of breading more slaves. As a result of this, she got pregnant on two occasions and gave birth to two sons. Her estate is represented by her son, Clio Clark of Dallas, Texas.

Julie Mae Wyatt-Kervin - Class Representative

88. Plaintiff Julie Mae Wyatt-Kervin was born on XX/XX/1903. She is the daughter of enslaved Africans, Jake Wyatt and Louise Wyatt. Both Jake and Louise Wyatt were slaves in Wharton County, as were their parents before them. In or about 1860, Wharton County had the distinction of having one of the highest slave populations in all of Texas. When Ms. Wyatt-Kervin's parents were freed from slavery on June 19, 1865, they became sharecroppers.

Ina Bell Daniels Hurdle McGee (“Hurdle McGee”)- Class Representative

89. Plaintiff Ina Bell Daniels Hurdle McGee is 69 years of age. She resides in Dallas, Texas.

90. Hurdle McGee is the great grand-daughter of Andrew Jackson Hurdle, an enslaved African. Her grandmother's name is Laura Elizabeth Hurdle and her father's name is Clarence Hurdle. Ina is a customer of Defendant, Aetna Insurance Company. But for Aetna's deception, Ina would not have been a customer of Aetna.

91. Hurdle McGee and her deceased ancestors were victimized and they endured the hardship and atrocities associated with the institution of slavery which was supported, sponsored and financed by one of more of the defendants.

Cain Wall, Sr. - Class Representative

92. Cain Wall, Sr. is a resident of Louisiana. Upon information and belief, he was enslaved through the 1960's. His grandfather and father were also former slaves. His seven living children are former slaves. He was subjected to forced labor without compensation.

93. Plaintiff Cain Wall, Sr. and his family were forced to live on the slave quarters of a plantation that grew numerous agricultural crops such as cotton and rice. His trips with the master took him to drop off bales of cotton, next to train tracks that ran through Mississippi, and/or Louisiana. He dropped bales of cotton off at the cotton mills.

94. His children were never paid for their labor.

95. Cain Wall experienced the horrors of slave life first-hand including, but not limited to, the murder of a relative by the slave master; physical beatings and physical intimidation purposely designed to prevent him from running away or reporting the criminal incidents to society Cain Wall did not run away as he was afraid of the master beating on him.

96. Upon information and belief, during a portion of the time that Plaintiff Cain Wall was enslaved namely in or about the 1920's-1930's, one or more of the Defendants were doing business in Mississippi or Louisiana.

97. These defendants had reason to know that their enslavement of Cain Wall was illegal and yet failed to take steps to eliminate same, while they continue to inure benefits form the illegal, but sanctioned system of servitude Post-Emancipation.

98. Plaintiff Cain Wall and his family members were victimized and they endured the hardship and atrocities associated with the institution of slavery which was supported, sponsored and financed by one of more of the defendants.

Class Representatives: Cain Wall, Jr., Mae Louis Miller, Ernestine Hill Annie L. Miller, Arthur Wall, Idell Wall, C.W. Wall

99. Plaintiffs, Cain Wall, Jr., Mae Louis Miller, Ernestine Hill Annie L. Miller, Arthur Wall, Idell Wall, C.W. Wall are residents of Louisiana, and all were formally enslaved. All endured the tragedy of slavery in that they were each forced to work for no pay.

100. These Plaintiffs were intimidated through violence and through threats of same. One of the family members was repeatedly raped by her slave master resulting in permanent injury. They were slaves for the benefit of the cotton industry, sugar industry and rice industry to name of few. Their father and grandfather were slaves and they were born into slavery.

101. These Plaintiff were victimized and they endured the hardship and atrocities associated with the institution of slavery which was supported, sponsored and financed by one of more of the defendants.

Antoinette Harrell Miller (“Miller”)- Class Representative

102. Miller was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on XX/XX/1960. She is the great-great grand daughter of a former slave, Carrie Richardson and the great grand daughter of a former slave, Thomas Richardson.

103. Miller and her enslaved ancestors were victimized and they endured the hardship and atrocities associated with the institution of slavery which was supported, sponsored and financed by one of more of the defendants. Plaintiff is victimized by Defendants, especially New York Life Insurance, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Norfolk Southern who have taken the property of her enslaved fore parents and failed to return same to him.

 

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