Over the course of more than four decades, Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was allegedly at the helm of a human trafficking scheme that involved dozens of women and children in Canada, the Bahamas, and the United States.
In the U.S., 57 women filed a class action lawsuit against the businessman, accusing him of using violence, bribery, and intimidation to sexually assault them and get away with it. Some of Nygard’s accusers were as young as 14 years old when they were harassed or raped. Attorneys believe that there might be many other victims that could join the Peter Nygard lawsuit, but some of them are held by back shame, guilt, or ignorance.
Who Is Peter Nygard?
Peter Nygard, né Pekka Juhani Nygård, is the founder of Canadian-based apparel company Nygård International and the 70th wealthiest Canadian to date. The company had to file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in March 2020 amid the ongoing sex trafficking scandal featuring its founder. Nygard was arrested in December 2020 on multiple sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
What Are Nygard’s Accusers Saying?
Dozens of women, including 18 Canadians allege that the fashion tycoon asked them for sexual favors in exchange of a promising career in the modelling and fashion industry. Other accusers claim that Nygard and his accomplices used drugs and alcohol to sedate them and sexually assault them. Some of the victims were allegedly as young as 14.
While the businessman’s criminal trial is ongoing, 57 sex abuse survivors filed a class action lawsuit against him in the Southern District of New York, seeking compensation. Under the U.S. law, plaintiffs don’t need for the government to prove somebody’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case for them to seek compensation in a civil case.
The U.S. Lawsuit against Peter Nygard
Nygard currently faces nine counts of sex-related and racketeering in New York. He is being held in the Manitoba jail, but the U.S. is seeking his extradition. According to prosecution, the well-connected fashion businessman drugged and coerced countless “impressionable and often impoverished” women and teens into having sex with him in exchange of money and careers in the fashion industry.
Meanwhile, 57 women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Nygard filed a class action lawsuit against him and his companies in the United States, seeking compensation. Even though, Nygard’s companies have bankruptcy protection, they were dragged into the lawsuit because allegedly many of his top-level employees actively helped him run the sex-trafficking scheme.
Experts explained that sex trafficking is not about moving the victims of sexual exploitation from one place to another. Sex trafficking is mainly about coercing people into having commercial sex against their will. If it weren’t for the coercion, force, and manipulation, none of those victims would have accepted to have commercial sex.
According to the prestigious New York-based law firm ASK LLP, which is independently running an active investigation into Peter Nygard’s wrongdoings, sex trafficking survivors can seek compensation and punitive damages from their abusers under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). But the amount of damages and statute of limitations vary from one state to another.
In a class action lawsuit, each survivor is entitled to:
· Compensatory damages
· Injunctive relief
· Reasonable attorney’s fees.
In some cases, the damages could be worth millions of dollars. The damages can be awarded even if the criminal case is not successful. Nygard’s legal team is already fighting the criminal charges, claiming that the recent scandal is a setup by one of Nygard’s billionaire adversaries in the Bahamas.
Should I Join?
If you are one of Nygard’s sex trafficking victims, you can contact ASK LLP lawyers at 877-746-4275 to discuss your case. ASK LLP legal investigations have helped hundreds of people recover damages and get justice served for four decades. The current Peter Nygard investigation is designed to hold the wrongdoers accountable, protect potential victims from future harm, and help Nygard’s victims have their voices heard. So, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to an ASK LLP lawyer today!
About the author:
Wilma Wiliams is a law school graduate and a part-time freelance blogger, focused on various legal topics such as personal injury, and bankruptcy. She’s passionate about educating the public on fighting for their rights, which is why she’s currently collaborating with Ask LLP: Lawyers for Justice, whilst actively sharing a part of her experience as a former lawyer.