Massage Envy faces another lawsuit based on allegations of sexual assault by their massage therapists. Attorneys Brian Kent of Laffey, Bucci, & Kent in Philadelphia, PA and Bobby Thompson of Thompson Law Offices in Burlingame, CA are representing seven women who say they were sexually assaulted by massage therapists at seven different locations throughout California. These franchises are located in Southern California, the Sacramento area, and the Bay Area.
Mr. Kent is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois. He has been granted special permission to represent his clients in this matter. Mr. Thompson is a member of the California state bar and is licensed to practice in the state of California.
The claims range in severity, from inappropriate touching to rape during massage appointments.
In one claim, the lawyers say that a massage therapist at the Burlingame franchise location, Brandon Davis, raped their client. Davis was recently arrested in San Mateo County and faces 14 charges, including six felonies for sexual battery by fraud. The lawsuit also claims that complaints were made about inappropriate conduct by Davis before their client was raped, but he was permitted to continue working at Massage Envy.
This lawsuit was filed in San Mateo County. Kent and Thompson are looking for additional victims to come forward about sexual abuse by Massage Envy employees.
Another hearing for this lawsuit is scheduled for October 2.
While this lawsuit may allege a statewide problem of sexual assault at Massage Envy locations in California, reports of sexual assault at these franchise locations are actually common throughout the United States.
In 2017, BuzzFeed conducted an investigative report into the issue of sexual assaults at Massage Envy locations nationwide. According to the company’s website, they employ 25,000 massage therapists and estheticians at 1,200 franchised locations across the country. The BuzzFeed report found that over 180 people nationwide claimed to have been sexually assaulted at a Massage Envy location.
Brian Kent of Laffey Bucci & Kent, a Pennsylvania-based law firm, offered some general information on lawsuits for massage therapist sexual assault victims:
“Victims of sexual assault at the hands of a deviant massage therapist have a very real possibility of finding justice through the legal system, though its important to understand the difference between criminal and civil proceedings. The criminal justice system will attempt to prosecute the perpetrator and this can help some victims find a sense of relief if their abuser is put behind bars. On the other hand, the civil justice system helps victims by allowing them to file lawsuits against companies whose negligence enabled a sexual assault to occur and enabling them to be compensated for damages they may have suffered.”