Massage Envy Sexual Assault Case Has Links To Clearwater, Florida
In recent days, the Massage Envy sexual assault case has made major national headlines. On November 26th, 2017, Buzzfeed News posted a bombshell report, releasing the results of a lengthy investigation in which they found that at 180 women from all around the United States have filed sexual assault complaints against Massage Envy in the last five years.
Unfortunately, the report makes it clear that Massage Envy, a multi-billion dollar company and the nation’s single largest massage chain, is not taking the problem of sexual assault by its representatives seriously. Their corporate response leaves much to be desired. Shockingly,
Buzzfeed News obtained internal communication from the company that dated back to 2014. When reviewing the issue of sexual assault, only one question on the sexual assault document was marked as being ‘critical’: “Could it negatively impact Massage Envy’s Spa Brand?
Our Attorney Joseph Alvarez Handled a Sexual Assault Case Against Massage Envy
In 2012, a New York woman, who will only be identified as Jane Doe, told Pinellas County law enforcement authorities that she had been sexually assaulted at a Massage Envy franchise location in Clearwater, Florida. While the prosecutors made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against Ronald Bruinius, the man who was accused of committing the assault, the victim responded by filing a civil sexual assault lawsuit against the company.
Our attorney Joseph G. Alvarez handled this lawsuit, which was eventually settled outside of the courtroom and under confidential terms. Unfortunately, the findings of the recent Buzzfeed News investigation did not come as a surprise to Mr. Alvarez. As he told WFLA News Channel 8, what Buzzfeed found lines up with what he found in his own work pursuing justice against Massage Envy, a company that “operates under a shroud of secrecy.”
Mr. Alvarez was also quoted by reporters at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. He explained that Massage Envy has “set up a system to where they shield themselves from any legal ramifications to protect their brand.” There is overwhelming evidence that this company tries to use its franchise business model to protect the corporation itself from facing any liability for the horrifying acts of sexual assault that have been perpetrated by its representatives.
Perhaps the most alarming single detail is that Massage Envy’s own employee handbook states that only four percent of sexual abuse victims actually report their attack to any authorities. This means that the real problem at Massage Envy is likely far more severe than what has been reported so far. There is no question that the corporate officials at Massage Envy need to do more to protect the health and safety of their customers.
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