Member of spiritual center accuses her advisor of sexual assault. $177K. Los Angeles County.


Spiritual advisor at Kabbalah Center International is accused of sexually assaulting a member.

The Case

  • Case Name: Scaccetti v. Berg
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC 533 556
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, November 24, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, January 17, 2014
  • Type of Case: Assault and Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligence
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard L. Fruin, Jr.
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jena Scaccetti
  • Defendants:
    Yehuda Berg
    Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $177,500
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Yehuda Berg: compensatory damages: $85,000
                                         punitive damages: $50,000

    Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated: $42,500

  • Punitive Damages:

    Yehuda Berg: $50,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days + 1 day for punitive damages phase.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 days + 1 day for punitive damages phase.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Berg JNOV - Denied. Kabbalah Center International, Inc. JNOV - TBD on March 08, 2016.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Offices of Alain V. Bonavida by Alain V. Bonavida, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Office of John D. Cline by John D. Cline, San Francisco. (For Berg.)

    Cooley LLP by Jonathan Bach (partner in charge of the firm's New York office); William P. Donovan and Patricia Eberwine, Santa Monica. (For Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated.)

    Berman Berman Berman Schneider & Lowary LLP by Mark E. Lowary and Rodrigo Suarez, Riverside. (For Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated.)

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Jena Scaccetti was a then-devoted member of Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated. She came into contact at the Center with defendant, its co-director.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant Yehuda Berg served as plaintiff's spiritual advisor and counselor. Yehuda Berg, then Co-Director of Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated, tried to drug and get Jena Scaccetti drunk so he could rape her. He failed in doing so. He subsequently threatened to beat her black and blue and kill her if she ever told anyone what happened the evening they met.

    That defendant Kabbalah Center International, Incorporated negligently supervised Yehuda Berg.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That defendant Berg did not engage in the acts as alleged by Jena Scaccetti and KCI denies responsibility under the negligent supervision doctrine.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Physical manifestations arising from severe emotional distress.

  • Severe emotional distress.

Additional Notes

Plaintiff's case was severely restricted by evidentiary rulings and Judge Fruin's dismissal of Jena Scaccetti's expert during trial. Nonetheless, Ms. Scaccetti prevailed against both defendants, including a finding of malice, oppression or fraud as to defendant Yehuda Berg along with $50,000 in punitive damages.