Eleven women are suing several Florida franchises of Arizona-based national chain Massage Envy alleging they were inappropriately touched, groped or raped by masseurs. The 163-page lawsuit was filed Monday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in Florida, and names Massage Envy franchises in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and three locations on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The lawsuit claims that when the cases of sexual abuse were brought to the attention of company officials, the company’s policy was to cover them up instead of notifying police or a state licensing board.
Massage Envy grew to national success offering affordable massages for the average working person. The company claims on its website that its 35,000 employees have provided more than 135 million massages and other treatments at its 1,200 locations across the United States.
Some of the women suing Massage Envy went to a franchise seeking massage therapy for chronic back pain or other injuries. The lawsuit claims the company put profits ahead of consumer safety while putting women in a “most vulnerable setting.”
Reports in the Florida lawsuit include claims against both male and female massage therapists and include claims such as the therapists massaging their genitals. Because of the nature of the assaults, the women who filed the lawsuit are all identified as Jane Does.
The Florida lawsuit follows a similar one filed earlier this month in California accusing Massage Envy therapists of sexual molestation. That suit came after a November 2017 investigation by BuzzFeed that revealed 180 women in the U.S. had reported they were molested by Massage Envy therapists.
Source: My Palm Beach Coast