Judge awards Minakshi Jafa-Bodden attorneys’ fees.
A woman who had sued Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, for harassment, and won more than $7 million from a jury, has now won an additional $1.1 million as attorneys’ fees by a judge in California.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney said the $1.1 million amount was reasonable based on the amount of hours Minakshi Jafa-Bodden‘s lawyers worked on her lawsuit against Choudhury from before trial until up until today’s hearing, reported MynewsLA.com.
Jafa-Bodden had sued Choudhury claiming she was harassed and punished by him for speaking out against harassment of women in the workplace.
Jafa-Bodden’s lawyers had recommended $2.9 million, but Choudhury’s attorney, Mark Share, said the award should have been no higher than about $350,000.
In January, the jury awarded Jafa-Bodden $924,554 in compensatory damages and $6.7 million in punitive damages, finding that she was subjected to harassment, discrimination and retaliation by the 70-year-old Choudhury, said the report.
Share told Mooney he doubted Jafa-Bodden’s lawyers put as much time into the case as they claimed. He also said their billing was vague.
But attorney Mark Quigley, on behalf of Jafa-Bodden, said he toiled during weekends on the case and that he and those lawyers working with him had to take extraordinary measures just to get the case to trial.
Quigley said he visited the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum to research whether Choudhury was telling the truth when he testified he met with the former president while Nixon was suffering from advanced thrombophlebitis, a swelling of veins due to blood clots, in his left leg.
Quigley also said taking cases on a contingency basis always carries some risk. He alleged that Choudhury has fled the country and hidden his assets.
Jafa-Bodden sued Choudhury and his West Los Angeles-based Yoga College of India in June 2013.
Choudhury’s lawyers said Jafa-Bodden lost her job in 2013 because she did not tell her boss she wasn’t licensed to practice law in California.