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sikh temple

Gurudwara San Jose Management vs Kulwant Singh Case Verdict, Gurudwara Management loses the case.

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CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARA COUNTY LIBEL — Facebook Posts and Newspaper Article The San Jose Sikh Temple and five Management Committee members sued a Sikh missionary for articles, published in Punjabi Newspaper and on Facebook, disparaging the moral character of the plaintiffs and accusing them of sacrilegious behavior and fiscal mismanagement. Verdict Defense Case Sikh Gudwara-San Jose, et al. v. Kulwant Singh, NO. 1-12-CV 232644 Court Superior Court of Santa Clara Judge Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle Date 12/02/2014 Plaintiff Attorney(s) Dann Braddock Jones,Law Offices of D. Brad Jones, San Jose, CA Defense Attorney(s) James D. Biernat, The Biernat Law Group, Burlingame, CA Facts & Allegations Kulwant Singh, an emigrant Sikh missionary from India and congregant of the Sikh Gudwara of San Jose, allegedly published articles in 2011 and 2012 in the Amristar Times and on Facebook accusing members of the Parbandhak Committee of anti-Sikh behavior. The alleged libel was that the plaintiffs violated Sikh principles on the use of alcohol and tobacco, mistreated their parents, introduced a Hindu holy book into the main temple hall, honored an Indian government official associated with the 1984 Golden Temple Attack in India, permitted scantily clad college cheerleaders onto Gudwara grounds, concealed use of Gudwara revenue, and personally benefitted from the temple coffers. Injuries/Damages Waived economic damages; claimed reputational damages Result DEDFENSE Plaintiff(s) Skh Gudwara-San Jose, Sukhdev Singh Bainiwal, Bhupindar Singh Dhillon, Sarbjot Singh Swaddi, Pritam Grewal, and Rajinder Singh Manga Demand $1,200,000, reduced at Settlement Conference to $120,000. Offer $30,000 at settlement conference, raised to $50,000 at trial. Settlement Discussions During trial, Plaintiffs agreed to accept $50,000 in settlement provided defendant’s pledge to curtail some critical postings on social media. Defendant refused. Insurer(s) Safeco Insurance Company of America Trial Details Trial Length: 10 Days Jury Deliberations: 1.5 Hours Jury Poll: No poll taken (foreperson reported vote 12-0) Jury Composition: 6M/6F Plaintiff Expert(s) Hardev Singh Grewal – Punjabi Interpreter, San Jose CA Defense Expert(s) Gurdeep Kaur Chawla – Punjabi Interpreter, Saratoga, CA Jaideep Singh, Ph.D. – Ethnic Studies and Sikh Religion, Berkeley, CA