Appeal of a Seven Million Dollar Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Termination Verdict against Yoga Master Bikram Choudhury Dismissed

Las year Minakshi Jafa-Bodden obtained a near $7 million verdict against Bikram Choudhury. Ms. Jafa-Boden was in the in-house counsel for the yoga guru. Ms. Jafa-Bodden brought the lawsuit in 2013 claiming that the guru repeatedly harassed women at work including herself. She claimed students massaged her and asked to sleep with her, which she rightfully declined. The plaintiff also claimed that Mr. Choudhury retaliated against her for investigating a serious rape allegation against him and for refusing to participate in a cover-up.

Ms. Jafa-Bodden and her lawyers made continuous efforts since the verdict to collect on the judgment.

The Disentitlement Doctrine

The higher court judge denied the appeal because Mr. Choudhury flagrantly disobeyed court orders to hand over assets company stock, luxury cars, and other assets to the plaintiff – in violation of a lower court temporary restraining order forbidding such transfers. Mr. Choudhury  violated another temporary restraining order when he failed to turn over his rights to money in over 300 Bikram Yoga businesses, and other interests including several trademarks. Mr. Choudhury was found in contempt by the trial court for failing to cooperate.

The appellate court judge held that California law requires that the disentitlement doctrine requires that the appeals be dismissed when lower court orders are disregarded without cause. Mr. Choudhury did not show cause – he failed to request a stay of any judgment enforcement proceedings pending the appeal. He did disregard the TROs by failing to turn over his assets. Worse, Mr. Choudhury  moved some of the vehicles out of California and assigned a trademark to a company in which his children were members.

Mr. Choudhury fled to Mexico claiming he was afraid of the U.S. justice system. His attorney claimed that the basis for the verdict were conversations the yoga instructed believed were confidential. The plaintiff’s counsel asserted that Mr. Choudhury had shown a brazen contempt for the jury and trial court and the appeal should be dismissed. The appellate court judge was not remotely impressed with Mr. Choudhury’s arguments and denied the appeal.

The lawyers for the plaintiff said they are working on getting a warrant to force Mr. Choudhury return to America and they are aggressively working on collecting the judgment.

To speak with experienced employee rights’ lawyers who understand that winning your case means collecting on any judgments in addition to getting a judgment, please call Stephen Danz and Associates at (877)-789-9707.