Grace and Matt Huang, the American couple that was wrongly accused and imprisoned in Qatar for the death of their daughter, were finally freed and returned home to California last week. This week, they filed a lawsuit against the engineering firm that sent them overseas, alleging that the company failed to provide security or cultural training to help them survive in a country where mixed-race families are not accepted.
Couple jailed in Qatar after adopted daughter's death sue employer
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses engineering firm MWH Global of negligence, wrongful termination and infliction of emotional distress. The Huangs say they unknowingly arrived in a country where adoption is prohibited and East Asians are regarded as one of the lowest "racial classes of individual." When their legal troubles arose, the Huangs say the company abandoned them and forced Matt to quit his job.
Matt and Grace Huang, Asian Americans who adopted three black children from Africa, said they suffered profound psychological trauma and were left more than $2 million in debt after being wrongly accused of killing their 8-year-old daughter, who died from an eating disorder when they lived in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Instead of helping them after they were jailed and separated from their sons, Colorado-base MWH Global abandoned them and forced Matt Huang to quit his job, according to the lawsuit.
Huang, who had worked for the engineering firm since 1999, was sent to Qatar to help improve the country's infrastructure ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer games.
MWH Global said it was "disappointed" by the lawsuit. The company says it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Matt Huang's criminal defense. According to the Huangs' lawsuit, MWH Global did hire a local lawyer to represent him, but failed to disclose that the attorney worked with the Qatari government. They never even met the lawyer, and eventually hired an international crisis management firm.
More here: "The U.S. government could have done a lot more"