Do Massage Spas Have a Sexual Assault Problem?
Nationwide massage therapy chain Massage Envy has recently come under fire for widespread allegations of sexual assault against their massage therapists. According to a 2017 article by BuzzFeed News, over 180 women had filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints for sexual assaults at Massage Envy locations as of the publishing of the article. Dozens more have come forward since then, bringing the total alleged sexual assaults at Massage Envy to over 200.
Sexual Assault Lawsuits Against Massage Envy
Philadelphia-based law firm Laffey, Bucci & Kent has filed several sexual assault lawsuits against Massage Envy in multiple states. The sexual assault victims law firm filed three lawsuits in one week in 2019, with a total of 20 victims across the three lawsuits.
These sexual assault victims lawyers are representing at least five New Jersey women who allege that they were sexually assaulted at Massage Envy locations throughout the state – including locations in Short Hills, Piscataway, Closter, and Mays Landing.
The lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent are also representing at least 16 other women in Massage Envy lawsuits in California, with California lawyer Bobby Thompson, and in Florida, with the Florida-based law firm Gordon & Donner.
According to attorney Stewart Ryan, the law firm had 93 clients as of February 2019 and that number has likely grown since then. Stewart also said that Laffey, Bucci & Kent has planned to file lawsuits against Massage Envy on behalf of victims in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, Massachusetts, and New Mexico with the assistance of local counsel.
These lawsuits allege negligence by Massage Envy, accusing the nationwide chain of attempting to cover up sexual assaults and fostering a culture that encouraged keeping complaints “in-house” and concealed from “law enforcement, state massage therapy boards, unsuspecting customers, and the public at large.”
Sexual Assault Allegations Against Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa
Massage Envy is not the only nationwide chain that has been rocked by a sexual assault scandal. Dozens of women have also reported being sexually assaulted by massage therapists at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa locations throughout the United States and Canada, and Massage Luxe.
At least one sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against a Hand and Stone location in Clermont, Florida. Another has been filed in North Carolina.
Massage therapists for Hand and Stone have also been charged with sexually assaulting clients in several states, including:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
Sexual Assaults at Independent Spas and Massage Therapy Businesses
Victims who have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists at smaller and independent spas have the same legal rights. Reporting these crimes to law enforcement can result in a criminal investigation of the massage therapist. Additionally, these victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the business if negligence contributed to the assault.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted by a Massage Therapist?
If you’ve been sexually assaulted at a spa by a massage therapist, you are encouraged to report the abuse. It’s important to know that you can find justice for the harm you’ve suffered. You can hold the parties responsible for this traumatic assault accountable for your suffering – including the business where the assault happened if their negligence played a role in enabling the assault through a civil lawsuit.
Here are some steps you can take after being sexually assaulted by a massage therapist:
- See a doctor for a sexual assault examination
- Report the sexual assault to the police
- Write down what you can remember from the assault
- Gather documents related to your membership or appointment
- Speak with an experienced massage therapist sexual assault lawyer
How Can Lawsuits Help Victims of Sexual Assault by Massage Therapists?
Taking legal action against a spa for sexual assault may not erase the trauma you’ve suffered, but these lawsuits can help provide the support you need to move forward.
Additionally, while criminal charges against a predatory massage therapist may help provide a sense of justice, it’s also important to hold negligent businesses accountable when customers are hurt due to their negligence. Civil lawsuits are the only way to demand accountability from negligent spas for sexual assaults committed by their employees.
Filing a lawsuit against a massage therapy business punishes them financially and provides financial support victims need and deserve for emotional and economic damages they’ve suffered due to being sexually assaulted, such as:
- Medical expenses, including therapy and other mental health costs
- Lost wages from missing work due to emotional or physical injuries
- Mental anguish and pain and suffering caused by the attack (PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, etc.)
These lawsuits also often make headlines, which can prompt changes in preventative measures that massage therapy businesses have. These changes can help protect other clients from also being sexually assaulted. Additionally, other victims who have previously stayed silent may find the courage to come forward after learning about a massage therapist sexual assault lawsuit.
Talk to a Massage Therapist Sexual Assault Lawyer About Your Legal Rights
The Legal Herald has a national network of sexual assault victims lawyers who are holding negligent spas accountable for sexual assault and sexual harassment by their massage therapists. If you or someone you care about is a victim of massage therapist sexual assault, contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of these dedicated lawyers.
You can move past your trauma and find justice. These law firms have the resources, dedication, and experience needed to take on negligent massage therapy businesses and help victims find the support they deserve.