Can a Lawsuit Be Filed for Sexual Abuse Aboard an Airplane?

Airplane Sexual lawsuit

A lot of terrible things can happen on an airplane.  But few passengers worry about a fellow passenger committing sexual assault.  Yet, statistics reveal a recent spike in reported sexual assaults in the least likely of places — the airplane.  The FBI has eveb issued a new warning to travelers about this horrific crime.

According to one federal official, “The attacks generally occur on long haul flights when the cabin is dark. The victims are usually in the middle or window seats. The victims are usually sleeping and covered with a blanket or jacket,” he said. In 2014, there were 38 cases of sexual assault aboard an aircraft was reported to the FBI nationally. In 2017, the number of reported cases jumped to 63.

A recent survey from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), a union of 50,000 flight attendants representing 20 airlines, suggests that in-flight sexual assault allegations are reported to law enforcement less than half of the time. The AFA survey also found that one in five flight attendants has encountered a passenger-on-passenger in-flight sexual assault.  Surprisingly, the FAA doesn’t require any sexual-assault-specific training for flight attendants. Further complicating the reporting process, crimes committed on an airplane fall under federal jurisdiction (the FBI if you’re in the United States) but local law enforcement are typically the officers that will be called to the gate.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed claims on behalf of passengers who were sexually assaulted while traveling on airplanes and when traveling by train.  The offending passenger as well as the airline may both be legally responsible for this sexual misconduct in a lawsuit.  While your first priority as a victim or a witness should be to deal with the immediate situation and to speak with law enforcement, it’s also important to follow up with the airline afterward to make sure the incident is documented internally, as well.

Report: 16 Women Report Morgan Freeman’s Sexual Harassment

Morgan Freeman sexual lawyer
Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is the latest Hollywood celebrity to be accused by multiple women of inappropriate sexual behavior and harassment.  The alleged victims include production staff members, production assistants, and other employees at his production company Revelations Entertainment.  According to news reports, Morgan Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behavior included unwanted touching and lewd comments about the women’s physical appearance.

Horowitz Law represents victims of sexual misconduct in cases involving entertainers, musicians, and other celebrities.  If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or otherwise subjected to unwanted sexual advance, please call sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at 954-641-2100 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Lyft Will Not Demand Arbitration From Victims of Sexual Assault

Lyft sexual lawsuit

Lyft has announced a major change to its User Agreement.  Lyft will no longer demand arbitration when passengers report they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by drivers.  Arbitration (which is costly and generally viewed as a pro-business dispute resolution method), rather than a jury trial, had previously been required to resolve disputes under Lyft’s User Agreement.

The decision by Lyft follows a similar decision earlier in the day by its competitor, Uber.  The policy change is hailed as a victory for sexual assault and abuse victims who are pursuing civil justice.  But the change was not without public pressure.  It comes on the heels of a CNN investigation that exposed numerous incidents of sexual assaults and abuse by Uber drivers.  CNN reported that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years.  Moreover, at least 31 Ubers drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.

Prior to this announcement, when signing up for Lyft service, users were required to agree to resolve any claims on an individual basis through arbitration. The practice, which has been largely unsuccessfully challenged in civil lawsuits, helped the company keep the issue of widespread sexual assault quiet and largely out of the public record.  Victims will now have the choice of venue to pursue their claims of sexual sexual assault or harassment  — mediation, arbitration, or open court with a jury trial.   Lyft will also end its practice of requiring confidentiality agreements when settling lawsuit with sexual abuse victims.

Attorney Adam Horowitz called this announcement by Lyft a win for victims of sexual assault and for transparency. “Victims will now have an opportunity have their day in Court with the right to a jury trial as guaranteed by our Constitution”, according to Adam Horowitz.

Attorney Adam Horowitz represents victims of sexual assault by rideshare drivers. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, battery, or rape by a driver for Lyft, Uber or another ride-sharing program, please contact attorney Adam Horowitz via e-mail at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call 954-641-2100 for a free consultation

Uber Will No Longer Require Arbitration From Victims of Sexual Assault by Drivers

Uber has announced a major change to its User Agreement.  Uber will no longer demand arbitration when passengers report they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by drivers.  Arbitration (which is generally seen as a pro-business), rather than a jury trial, had previously been required to resolve disputes under Uber’s user agreement.

The decision by Uber, hailed as a victory for sexual assault and abuse victims who are pursuing civil justice, comes on the heels of a CNN investigation that exposed numerous incidents of sexual assaults and abuse by Uber drivers.  CNN reported that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years.  Moreover, at least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.

Prior to this announcement, when signing up for Uber’s service, Uber users were required to agree to resolve any claims on an individual basis through arbitration. The practice, which has been largely unsuccessfully challenged in lawsuits, helped the company keep the issue of widespread sexual abuse quiet and largely out of the public record.  Victims will now have the choice of venue to pursue their claims of sexual sexual assault or harassment  — mediation, arbitration, or open court with a jury trial.

Attorney Adam Horowitz hailed this announcement as victory of victims of sexual assault and for transparency. “Victims will now have an opportunity have their day in Court with the right to a jury trial as guaranteed by our Constitution”, according to Adam Horowitz.

Attorney Adam Horowitz represents victims of sexual assault by Uber drivers. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, battery, or rape by a driver for Uber or another ride-sharing program, please contact attorney Adam Horowitz via e-mail at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call 954-641-2100 for a free consultation

Experienced Lawyers For Massage Envy Sexual Assault Claims

massage envy sexual lawyer

Adam Horowitz is an attorney representing numerous women across the country in sexual abuse lawsuits against Massage Envy.  He receives excellent reviews from clients and pursues these cases aggressively with an eye toward obtaining justice, exposing the truth, getting corporate reforms, and holding all wrongdoers accountability.  Horowitz Law handles sexual misconduct cases against Massage Envy throughout the country.  Call our office at 954-961-2100 for more information or e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Massage Envy is the largest national chain of spas offering massage therapy services.  In recent years, Massage Envy franchises have been besieged by lawsuits in which their massage therapists have been accused of sexual misconduct by female clients.  In these cases, franchises owners are often accused of negligence in which the claims is made that Massage Envy has inadequate policies and procedures to deter or prevent sexual misconduct.  In other cases, Massage Envy has failed to follow its zero tolerance policy on sexual misconduct or Massage Envy hired and retained massage therapists with a history of prior misconduct or other criminal behavior.  Horowitz Law has represented dozens of Massage Envy clients in cases in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and beyond.  We have the resources to evaluate and handle these cases anywhere in the country.

While massage may be therapeutic and relaxing for some, it is also a situation in which clients are  placed in as vulnerable a position as one can imagine.  Massage clients are often fully or partially undressed in a darkened room trying to relax while laying in a vulnerable position with a person whom they must trust to get the potential benefits of massage.  It is a situation in which the last thing on one’s mind should be the risk of sexual assault.  Yet, it is precisely in that situation in which sexual misconduct appears to be so rampant.  There is no textbook for how to respond such a frightening situations.  Many women will experience a freeze response in which they feel paralyzed while it is occurring.  At Horowitz Law, we are here for exactly such a situation and can guide you in the process of obtaining justice against all responsible parties.

A recent investigative report by Buzzfeed uncovered more than 180 incidents in which Massage Envy clients reported being sexually assaulted by massage therapists.  Attorney Adam Horowitz was quoted extensively in that article commenting on how the massage therapy setting creates a ‘perfect storm’ for incidents of sexual misconduct.  Massage therapists are tasked with touching nearly naked clients who often have their eyes closed in a darkened room while trying to relax.  “An inordinate amount of people are attracted to massage therapy because of sexual interest,” said Adam Horowitz, an attorney who has represented multiple clients suing day spas. “Just like there was opportunity in the priesthood, there’s opportunity in the massage room. When you get a massage, your guard is down completely. You’re not expecting to be violated.”  Attorney Adam Horowitz is often cited and consulted as an expert advocate for victims of sexual assault at spas such as Massage Envy based on his years of experience handling such cases.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Our massage sexual misconduct cases have garnered national and local headlines such as the following:

Dozens Accuse Massage Envy Therapist of Assault

Hands Off:  A Buzzfeed News Investigation

Woman Files Lawsuit Again Owner of Massage Parlor, Alleges Abuse

Tampa Woman Filed Lawsuit Against Massage Parlor

Investigation Finds Disturbing Number of Massage Clients Inappropriately Touched Across the Country

Woman Assaulted at Coral Gables Massage Envy Files Lawsuit

CBS12 Investigates: Allegations of Sexual Assault at Massage Envy

‘It’s Mortifying’: Massage Envy Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out

Woman Claims She Was Sexually Abused by Massage Envy Therapist in Boca Raton: Attorney

Judge Enters Guilty Verdict in Case Involving West Boca Massage Envy

At Horowitz Law, we not only handle your civil lawsuit, but we are there for our clients at each step of any criminal or administrative proceedings.  Our investigators and staff are devoted to gathering evidence to build your case and obtaining the measure of justice you deserve.

 

Dr. Joey Kenney Facing Multiple Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Dr. Joey Thomas Kenney, a physician licensed in Florida and California, has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct from male patients.  In February 2018, the Florida Department of Health filed an Adminstrative Complaint against Dr. Kenney for sexual misconduct.  That Complaint mirrors a civil lawsuit previously filed and still pending against the doctor in Suwanee County, Florida.  In the Department of Health action, Dr. Kenney is accused of fondling the genitals of a 37-year patient in the Emergency Room of Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center in Live Oak, Florida.  The patient was in the emergency room on account of pain in his right foot and ankle.  According to the Department of Health, Dr. Kenney used his status as a medical doctor to engage or attempt to engage his patient in sexual activity outside the scope of the health care profession by making contact with his patient’s penis.

In addition to the alleged incident at Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center, Dr. Kenney was previously accused in a separate lawsuit of molesting another male patient at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in Manatee County, Florida.  In that lawsuit, the doctor was accused of repeatedly examining and stroking his patient’s genitals for prolonged periods of time.  According to that lawsuit, the patient was to be seen for asthma and there was no legitimate medical reason for his penis to be touched by the doctor.

In addition to these two claims, it was also disclosed in discovery in the civil lawsuit in Suwanee County that Dr. Kenney has been accused of sexual misconduct on two additional occasions by male patients.  In all, at least four former patients of Dr. Kenney have now accused him of sexual misconduct. Horowitz Law encourages anyone who has had a similar experience with Dr. Kenney to report the claim to the local law enforcement agency for investigation.  In 2017, Dr. Kenney stopped practicing in Florida and has begun practicing medicine in California.

Many people incorrectly believe that a physician or healthcare provider would never commit sexual assault because a person in a position of trust with substantial education and elevated status would never commit such a heinous act. This is completely inaccurate.  Sexual assaults by doctors on patients can and do occur on patients of all ages.  An investigative report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution revealed countless incidents of rape by OB/GYNs, seduction by psychiatrists, fondling by anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists, and molestation by pediatricians and radiologists. Moreover, the reporter discovered a broken system whereby doctors are not properly investigated or sanctioned by their state investigative boards.  Further, there are absolutely no studies revealing a connection whatsoever between one’s education level and the likelihood of committing sexual assault. Sadly, perpetrators come in all shapes and sizes. Sexual assault by doctors is woefully under-reported because patients feel uncomfortable and embarrassed coming forward. Alternatively, they feel they will not be believed.

License of Naples Hand & Stone Massage Employee Restricted After Sexual Assaults Reported

The Florida Department of Health has issued an Emergency Order preventing Carlos Ramos from practicing massage therapy on any female clients.  The Order was issued after Ramos, a licensed massage therapist, was accused by two female clients of sexual misconduct.  Ramos had worked until April 2018 at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (“Hand & Stone) in Naples, Florida.  Ramos had previously worked at the Stillwater Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point.  According to the Department of Health, Ramos had been licensed to practice massage therapy since 2012.

This is not the first time a massage therapist of Hand & Stone in Naples has been disciplined by the Florida Department of Health for sexual misconduct.  On April 27, 2018, massage therapist Carlos Amador relinquished his license after the Department of Health accused him of sexual misconduct with a 28-year old female client during an incident on May 24, 2017

According to the Emergency Order, Ramos was first accused of sexual misconduct after a February 21, 2016 appointment at the Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt Regency when he touched the vagina of a client exposed her buttocks and intergluteal cleft.  The incident was reported to the manager of the Spa.  Ramos later worked at Hand & Stone in Naples.  According to the Emergency Order, during an appointment on April 8, 2018 at the the Stillwater Spa, Ramos massaged a different female client between her buttocks with his fingers.  She reported the incident to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under these circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy and must refrain from placing their clients in situations that violate their safety and welfare.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Hand & Stone and other spas and resorts.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Deadline Approaches on Diocese of Buffalo Claims Period for Clergy Abuse Compensation

Diocese of Buffalo sexual lawsuit

May 2018 is the final month for victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo to bring a claim seeking compensation from the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP).  The program, which follows similar programs in other dioceses in New York State, is designed to compensate people who sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  According to published reports, dozens of priests of the Diocese of Buffalo have been accused of child sexual abuse.  Some, but not all, of those priests are now deceased.

The list of priests of the Diocese of Buffalo who have been accused of sexual abuse includes: John R. Aurelio; Donald W. Becker; David M. Bialkowski; Robert J. Biesinger; James H. Cotter; Donald S. Fafinski; Douglas F. Faraci; Fred G. Fingerle; Michael R. Freeman; Joseph P. Friel; Mark M. Friel; Thomas G. Gresock; John P. Hajduk; Michael J. Harrington; Brian M. Hatric; James P. Hayes; Louis J. Hendricks; J. Grant Higgins; Francis T. Hogan; Fred D. Ingalls; Florian A. Jasinski; Gerald C. Jasinski; Richard P. Judd; Timothy J. Kelley; Thomas L. Kemp; Richard J. Keppeler; John D. Lewandowski; Bernard M. Mach; Loville N. Martlock; Fabian Maryanski;  Thomas J. McCarthy; Basil A. Ormsby; Norbert F. Orsolits; Martin L. Pavlock; Roy K. Ronald; Joseph E. Schieder; Gerard A. Smyczynski; James A. Spielman; Chester S. Stachewicz; Edward J. Walker; William G. Ward; William F. J. White; and Robert W. Wood.

Notably, Father Fabian Maryanski to work in a parish until May  2018 —  decades after he was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage girl in a church rectory at St. Patrick Church.

The deadline for victims to submit claims is June 1, 2018.  You should hire an experienced attorney before bringing your claim.  Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience handling claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse throughout New York, including cases with the Diocese of Buffalo.  Attorney Adam Horowitz offers confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests and clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by any priest or clergymen affiliated with the Diocese of Buffalo, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese of Buffalo and learn if you are eligible for monetary compensation.

 

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Massage Envy in Miami Lakes

massage sexual lawyer

In November 2017, Buzzfeed News reported that lawsuits, police reports and locally-filed complaints revealed more than 180 female clients of Massage Envy reported they suffered a wide array of sexual assaults, including groping, penetration and forced sex acts.  Since that time, dozens more have come forward with similar accounts.  The Miami Lakes franchise of Massage Envy is the most recent to be targeted in the latest lawsuit by Horowitz Law alleging sexual misconduct by a Massage Envy employee.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade County, alleges that during a massage appointment on September 30, 2017, massage therapist Jose Sanchez Contreras initiated unwanted sexual contact with his female client. Specifically, the Plaintiff claims that at the end of her massage appointment, the massage therapist placed his hands under the draping onto her breasts, cupped the breasts and then pinched her nipples two times while heavily breathing.  Jose Sanchez Contreras became licensed as a massage therapist in February 2017 according to the Florida Department of Health website. The incident is alleged to have occurred at the Massage Envy located at 15422 NW 77th Court, Suites B&C, Miami Lakes, FL 33016.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Massage Envy and other spas and resorts.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

 

 

 

Massage Therapists Lose License Due to Sexual Misconduct Complaints

Florida Department of Health

Four licensed massage therapists in Florida have lost their license following disciplinary actions brought by the Florida Department of Health Board of Massage Therapy alleging sexual misconduct. In each instance, the massage therapist elected to relinquish the license in response to an investigation.  These disciplinary Orders continue a long and disturbing trend of sexual misconduct by massage therapists statewide. Under Florida law, massage therapists occupy positions of trust and all sexual activity between massage therapist and clients is strictly prohibited.

Two of the accused massage therapist had been employed and Hand and Stone Spa locations.

(1) Carlos Amador of Hand and Stone in Naples – A Final Order of discipline was entered on April 30, 2018 against his license (which has been voluntarily relinquished) following an allegation that he touched the vagina and breasts of a 28-year old client multiple times during the massage.  Carlos Amador admitted to the sexual misconduct.

(2) David Nazario of Hand and Stone Massage in Orlando A Final Order of discipline was entered on April 30, 2018 against his license (which has been voluntarily relinquished) following an allegation that he exposed the breasts and touched the vagina of a 41-year old client during a massage.

(3) James A. Russell of Massage Delray in Delray Beach  A Final Order of discipline was entered on April 30, 2018 against his license (which has been voluntarily relinquished) following an allegation that he put his fingers inside the vagina of a female client during a massage.

(4)  Brandi C. Hill of Brooksville –  A Final Order of discipline was entered against his license (which has been voluntarily relinquished) after Hill was arrested for two counts of felony unlawful sexual activity with a minor.  The arrest report from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office indicates on two separate occasions between May 8, 2017 and June 26, 2017, Hill provided a minor with alcohol and marijuana; then inserted a vibrator and a dildo into D. M.’s vagina. Both incidents occurred at Hill’s residence in Brooksville.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at spas and resorts.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com