Lawsuits Against Massage Envy for Sexual Assault Make National News
Laffey, Bucci & Kent is at the forefront of a major news report against one of the largest massage/spa chains in the U.S., Massage Envy. Massage Envy is a national franchise with locations in every state.
Two days ago, major news organizations began picking up on the number of lawsuits and claims filed by women who alleged they were sexually assaulted at a Massage Envy franchise location. That number, according to the first reporter to break the story, is roughly 180 women. See November 26, 2017 article at BuzzFeed, www.buzzfeed.com, More Than 180 Women Have Reported Sexual Assaults at Massage Envy.
Sexually Assaulted at Massage Envy? Clients Accepted Now – CALL 800.220.7600
The firm is currently representing nearly 2 dozen women who were sexually assaulted during a routine massage at a Massage Envy location in the U.S. Lawsuits have already been filed or will be filed in:
- New Jersey,
- Pennsylvania, and
- South Carolina.
Victims or witnesses are invited to contact our firm. Call 800.220.7600.
Additional lawsuits are expected to follow after the original story went viral. As of 4 pm. November 28, 2017, the original BuzzFeed article has nearly 1,000,000 hits. Multiple news organizations have expanded on the original story including Fox News, ABC, NBC, etc.
Brian Kent Interviewed on Fox News Philadelphia (Nov. 28, 2017, 7:30 am)
This morning, Laffey, Bucci & Kent attorney Brian Kent and his client, Susan Ingram, were interviewed on Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29 about the sexual assault allegations at Massage Envy. A few portions of the interview with Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley are provided below.
Mike: Massage Envy is the largest chain of massage franchises in the whole country. You know they bring in some like $1 billion annually in sales.
Alex: And speaking of the fact that it’s a large chain, I think that there are 26 in our area. Now it’s facing dozens of allegations of sexual assault with many accusers saying the company ignored or mishandled their claims.
Fox News: An investigation by BuzzFeed reveals that more than 180 women accused some of Massage Envy therapists of inappropriately touching them and other acts of sexual misconduct. Civil suits, police reports and complaints to state boards have been filed against the company, its franchises and their employees. At a Massage Envy in West Chester, massage therapist James Deiter was accused of assaulting 9 women in 2014 and 2015. Last year, he was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison after pleading guilty. One of Deiter’s victims, Susan Ingram, alleges Massage Envy put her at risk. She says the location knew of at least one incident prior to her assault, but allowed Deiter to continue working there. Now, Ingram is suing and she is advocating a bill that would require massage spa owners and employees to report allegations of sexual assault to police. Ingram says she hopes her story will spark change.
Susan Ingram: In that moment, I don’t think any one of us know how the brain processes something perceived to be good that can so quickly turn to evil. In my case, as in many cases, and I’ve learned this through therapy, a victim will freeze. The fear of what can happen next feels so terrifying and so frightening that you don’t even want to take a shallow breath because it may trigger something in him.
Brian Kent (discussing proposed legislation): So, surprisingly, many states don’t require the reporting of a sexual assault if it happens in a massage business. There are a few states that do require it. Sue’s been working with Congressman Meehan to make sure there’s a federal statute that’s passed that would require every massage business to report whenever there’s an allegation of sexual assault. As it stands right now, in Pennsylvania and a lot of other states, there’s no requirement to report it to law enforcement or a state massage therapy board.
About Brian Kent
Brian Kent is one of the founding members of Laffey, Bucci & Kent and has handled dozens of sexual assault lawsuits against churches, schools and professionals. He is leading the charge against Massage Envy and the alleged corporate policies that enabled sex assault by massage therapists at various Massage Envy locations across the country.
The Massage Envy cases represent the type of law Brian practices. He is no stranger to complex, high profile sex assault cases. He previously handled a civil molestation case against a state court judge. The judge admitted to the abuse, was removed from the bench and ultimately disbarred from practicing law. See Kelly v. Bradley, Case# 1:09-ev-00282-LDD, Superior Court of Delaware.
As a former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian approaches these types of civil lawsuits with a unique mindset – protecting his clients’ rights in both the criminal case and the civil one. Contact the firm’s Philadelphia office to speak to Brian Kent. 215.399.9255