NEW YORK, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kathryn Lee Boyd, a founding partner at Hecht Partners, and Shira Feldman, counsel, are pleased to announce that Melinda Coolidge, a partner at Hausfeld, has joined in representing the plaintiffs in a putative class and collective action lawsuit against the Kabbalah Centre International, Incorporated, affiliated entities, and individuals.
The litigation alleges violation of employment laws through a vast network of unpaid labor under extreme conditions for the personal benefit of Karen, Michael, and Yehuda Berg, who run the Centre.
"Hecht Partners brings class action lawsuits against some of the most powerful institutions in America, and one of the most heinous is the Kabbalah Centre International," said Ms. Boyd. "Partnering with our colleagues at Hausfeld will strengthen the brave plaintiffs in this case, who have courageously stepped forward to seek justice."
"I am proud to be joining this important case seeking justice for the exploited workers of an organization who were made to work without pay to enrich the firm's directors," added Ms. Coolidge, Partner at Hausfeld.
Plaintiffs in the case are former employees of the Centre. They claim they were induced to join the Centre as early as 1998 and allege that the individuals who control the Centre — the Berg family — operate a cult that preys upon individuals who wish to help others.
Plaintiffs have named as individual defendants Karen Berg, Yehuda Berg, and Michael Berg. Karen Berg is one of the center's founders, its leader, and is considered its ultimate authority on all decisions. Karen's sons, Michael and Yehuda, run the organization with her.
Among Plaintiffs' allegations are that:
- They served as personal assistants catering to the whims of the Bergs, including performing menial labor and household work;
- They worked seven days a week, often for 16 to 20 hours a day, and were always "on call" for the Bergs;
- They were almost entirely focused on securing ever-increasing money and "donations" for the Centre;
- The Centre trained them to obtain, track, and exploit intimate details about the lives of the Centre's members in order to extract ever larger "donations" from those members;
- The Centre made major life decisions for them, telling them where to live and work, when to marry, and whom to marry; and
- They were manipulated into giving up their material possessions and their relationships outside the Centre.
Yehuda Berg also is alleged to have used his position of authority to manipulate already vulnerable female members of the Centre into performing sexual acts.
"The Kabbalah Centre used Plaintiffs to operate their cult and enrich the Bergs," said Ms. Feldman.
The case is Greene, et al. v. Kabbalah Centre International, Incorporated, et al., No. 1:19-cv-04304, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If you are interested in joining this action, Plaintiffs' lawyers can be reached at [email protected].
About Hecht Partners:
Hecht Partners is a boutique law firm specializing in class actions, transnational arbitration and litigation, and intellectual property. Its attorneys have been seeking justice against global bad actors for the entirety of their legal careers.
Kathryn Lee Boyd has over 25 years of experience advocating on behalf of human rights victims. She has litigated more than 30 jury trials and arbitrations and has represented clients in a variety of high-profile disputes in U.S. courts and international tribunals, including victims of Argentina's "dirty war," survivors of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust and their heirs, indigenous peoples suing sovereigns and multinational oil companies, and the families of airplane hijacking victims.
Shira Lauren Feldman, who served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, Chief Judge, and the Honorable Peggy Kuo, Magistrate Judge, both of the Eastern District of New York, represents plaintiffs in individual and class action litigation and international arbitration. Her clients include genocide victims and exploited workers seeking justice against international financial institutions and other multinational organizations.
Hausfeld lawyers have been dedicated to protecting civil and human rights through the civil court system for decades. Combining experience in litigating complex cases with a passion for preserving human dignity, Hausfeld lawyers have successfully represented victims of human rights abuses in the United States and around the world.
Melinda R. Coolidge has over a decade of experience litigating class actions on behalf of victims of conspiracies and wrongdoing. Her clients, and classes she has represented, have obtained billions of dollars in compensation.
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SOURCE Hecht Partners LLP