Premises Liability for Sexual Assault

January 3, 2013
by Sammons & Carpenter, P.C.

Usually a criminal act can break the chain of causation for a negligence action. Premises liability is an exception. A news story has now explained that a Georgia woman, Victoria King, has sued the perpetrator, Brandon Knox, and his employer, Abundant Living Inc., the parent company of Massage Envy where the incident took place, for premises liability in Cobb County Court.

Ms. King claims that while she worked as a receptionist for a Massage Envy in Atlanta, she was instructed to have a massage by one of their masseurs, Mr. Knox. She claims she did nothing to invite any improper advances, but during the massage, Mr. Knox pulled away the sheet to expose her and then repeatedly touched her vagina. He made comments to the effect of, "Do you want something else massaged?" She states she pulled away from him and told him to stop, saying she remained shocked and frightened while he whispered to her, "I just think you are so pretty." After that, she says he pushed on pressure points in retaliation, causing her pain and bruising, particularly on her shoulders, as well as leaving her in a state of great anxiety while remaining in the room with him. When he finally left, Ms. King collected herself, attempted to calm down, and tried to leave, but Mr. Knox waited outside the door and tried to grab her. He apparently apologized for his inappropriate actions and asked "Are we cool?," which was overhead by a co-worker. The co-worker reported the incident to Katherine Kelly, an owner of Abundant Living. When Ms. Kelly came to the premise and talked to him in person, Mr. Knox admitted the inappropriate touching to her. He also later admitted to sexual assault when questioned by the police and pled guilty to criminal battery in his criminal proceedings.

However, Ms. King decided to file a civil action as well, after finding out that Massage Envy had two prior complaints from women about Mr. Knox's sexual advances. One woman was another employee, and the second was a client. Ms. King's civil suit claims, "Defendant Massage Envy did not investigate either incident, did not fire Knox or take any disciplinary or corrective action against Knox as a result of these prior incidents, and did not take any steps to prevent Knox from repeating such conduct in the future." Now she is seeking punitive damages and has alleged, in addition to premises liability, assault and battery, outrage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and privacy invasion.

Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime on another person's property, the personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help you recover damages. These are often complicated cases to show liability and this area of law is constantly changing. Call our law office at 404-814-8948 to discuss your potential case, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.

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