ENCINITAS, Calif. (CNS) – A lawsuit alleges that four ladies have been sexually assaulted with the aid of therapists at four separate Massage Envy places, such as Encinitas, the plaintiffs’ attorneys announced.
The fit, filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, accuses Massage Envy of negligently hiring and supervising five therapists accused through the plaintiffs and ignoring the “acknowledged danger of assault they posed to customers” by allowing them to remain employed or transferring them to any other franchise location.
The plaintiffs also allege that Massage Envy has a policy of concealing sexual attack reviews, does no longer require that sexual assaults be stated to regulation enforcement or country massage therapy forums, and did nothing more significant than internally looking into each reported incident.
Massage Envy declined to touch upon the lawsuit but stated the Scottsdale, Arizona-based totally company adheres to hook up safety and quality practice policies regarding sexual assault.
“We cannot comment on pending litigation. However, we believe we’ve hooked up best-in-magnificence practices to deal with the types of issues alleged on this lawsuit, with the assist of the Massage Envy Safety Advisory Council — made from leading experts — and our work with RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence enterprise within the U.S,” the assertion reads. “These and other concrete actions underscore our commitment to promoting safe surroundings for individuals, guests, and service carriers at every of our nearly 1 two hundred franchise places, and we can never forestall operating to have enterprise-main safety rules.”
The lawsuit alleges the sexual assaults happened at Massage Envy places in Encinitas and Corona in Riverside County, Daly City, near San Francisco, and Cotati, a network in Sonoma County.
In the Encinitas case, a therapist allegedly ejaculated onto the sufferer as she lay undressed on a rub-down desk, consistent with the complaint. The fit alleges that the patron contacted the manager, apologizing to her and providing her a free massage down.
“Employees who went to control were told not to complain, which sent a message to those speakme up that such behavior becomes applicable,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Elizabeth Graham alleged. “In at least one example, male therapists shamed girls customers, claiming they desired sex by using looking for a rub down, even though rub-down treatments are popular at truely each spa and nail salon inside the usa. The misconduct itself is annoying sufficient at franchise locations but compounded by using the figure company’s loss of reporting and rooting out of the abusers — not unlike the more extensive sex abuse scandals we have seen on the U.S. Gymnastics Association or even the Catholic Church.
“It’s unconscionable that such brazen customer abuse could take area in just one Massage Envy franchise — not to mention multiple locations across California,” Graham stated. “This is a derivative of a toxic work subculture, in which abuse persisted and was tolerated even after the problem changed into well diagnosed within the company, and but consumer lawsuits went smothered and unreported.”
The lawsuit turned into announced the same day that Orange County prosecutors filed criminal prices towards a rubdown therapist charged with sexually assaulting two girls throughout massage treatments at a Massage Envy place in Mission Viejo. Russell Bernardino, who is additionally an authorized home health care issuer, become additionally charged with raping a 77-12 months-vintage girl while serving as her caregiver at her domestic in an Orange County retirement community.