A fifth New Jersey woman has joined a lawsuit against Massage Envy for alleged sexual assaults at several locations throughout the states. This fifth victim is the second to accuse an employee of the Short Hills Massage Envy location of sexual assault. These five women, along with several others in other states, are represented by Philadelphia-based law firm Laffey, Bucci, & Kent.
The woman says that on December 27, 2016, a male massage therapist groped and forcibly kissed her in Short Hills. The first victim in an alleged assault at this location reported being assaulted on January 23, 2015.
Other New Jersey franchise locations named in the lawsuit include Piscataway, Closter, and Mays Landing. Nationwide, Massage Envy has faced over 400 allegations of sexual assault – all involving male massage therapists and female customers. The law firm also represents victims in Florida and California and is planning to sue Massage Envy on behalf of victims in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Texas.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has extensive experience helping survivors of massage therapist sexual assault find justice. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on massage business liability for sexual assaults committed by their employees:
Massage therapy is a business which requires a high degree of trust between the customers and the employees of the business. Customers are undressed and in vulnerable positions while alone with massage therapists, so it’s extremely important for these businesses to make sure their customers are safe. Job applicants must be thoroughly screened for a history of sexual misconduct and any allegations of misconduct or abuse must be taken seriously.
With over 1,200 locations nationwide, Massage Envy is one of the most popular massage therapy companies in the country. But unfortunately, this company has put countless customers at risk for sexual assault through their mishandling of allegations involving employees. In some cases, these massage therapists have been permitted to continue seeing customers or to transfer to other locations.
Many survivors of sexual assault by massage therapists are fighting back with lawsuits against companies like Massage Envy, Hand & Stone, and other smaller massage business. These lawsuits help demand accountability from the businesses that have failed to protect their customers from sexual violence. Our law firm specializes in representing survivors of sexual violence and we are currently representing several survivors of sexual assault at Massage Envy locations.
Have you or a loved one been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist? We understand how traumatic this experience has been and we want to help you find justice. Get in touch with one of our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers to learn more about your legal options.