Defunct company balks at ruling awarding Thai farm workers $8.7 million for exploitation

IndustriesAssociated Press

A federal judge is ordering a California-based labor contractor to pay $8.7 million in damages to Thai workers who were exploited while working at Hawaii farms.

But it's not clear whether the workers will ever get their money.

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The former president of Global Horizons said Monday that the company is defunct and has no way to pay. He calls the ruling "insane."

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 against Global Horizons and six Hawaii farms. It alleged workers were subjected to discrimination, uninhabitable housing, insufficient food, inadequate wages and deportation threats. Five farms settled for $3.6 million.

EEOC attorney Anna Park says the agency is pleased with Friday's ruling but the next challenge will be getting money from Global Horizons.