Florida Record

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Massage Envy accused of ignoring charges of sexual assault


By Carrie Bradon | Mar 12, 2019

MIAMI -- A lawsuit has been filed against Massage Envy, alleging that employees have not been vetted properly, putting customers in danger, according to an ALM Media article posted at Yahoo.com.

The lawsuit names Jane Doe as the plaintif,f who alleges she was sexually assaulted in 2016 at a Massage Envy in Coral Gables. She says the male massage therapist touched her sexually during her appointment.

Although an incident report was filed in a timely manner, just days after the assault, the lawsuit states, a different female client was assaulted at the same location by the same therapist.

The therapist who was named as a defendant in the lawsuit had a previous history of domestic violence, in addition to having been arrested with charges of strong-arm robbery and grand theft, prior to his hire at Massage Envy, calling into question the franchise’s hiring policies, the suit says. The newest lawsuit alleges Massage Envy is negligent in its hiring and training practices, which affects the safety of clients who receive services at the franchise.

Alex Arteaga-Gomez of the law firm Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, the plaintiff’s attorney from the 2016 lawsuit, commented on the situation to the Florida Record and the responsibility of Massage Envy for such an incident.

“It is unclear whether any discipline was imposed at all after his 2014 felony domestic violence arrest or after his sexual assault upon my client in 2016,” Arteaga-Gomez told Florida Record. “If he was disciplined, it certainly was not sufficient. Both incidents mandated termination, and yet he remained employed.”

According to the Yahoo report, despite Massage Envy saying that their clients’ safety is important, incidents have continued to occur. The occurrences have been so frequent that the lawsuit filed Feb. 25 in Miami-Dade County Court Feb. 25, was only one of many lawsuits naming the franchise as negligent in sexual assaults. 

Numerous other women have previously alleged they were assaulted while at franchise locations and that the massage franchise attempted to “downplay” the reports of sexual assault.

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Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen Miami-Dade County Court

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