Langham Hotel Settles Second Lawsuit Over Alleged Sexual Assault in $1.2 Million Deal

A luxurious hotel in Chicago’s River North district, The Langham, has recently settled its second lawsuit in connection with allegations of sexual assault by one of its massage therapists. The $1.2 million settlement comes after another settlement of $1 million in August 2022, according to Carolyn Daley, the attorney representing both victims. Both women claim to have been assaulted by the therapist, Joseph Mitchell, at the hotel’s Chuan Spa on the same day in September 2020.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court last year, argues that The Langham negligently employed Mitchell despite receiving a complaint about him in 2019 from another woman who alleged sexual assault by him and another woman at the spa. Furthermore, the lawsuit reveals that Mitchell had previously been fired from two different massage therapy jobs due to investigations into similar allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct against him.

According to the complaint, The Langham exhibited “an utter disregard for the health and safety of their customers,” and attorney Carolyn Daley expressed her shock that the hotel allowed Mitchell to continue offering massages to women. Mitchell’s attorney declined to comment on the matter.

Mitchell was indicted on two felony sexual assault and abuse cases in July 2021, related to the alleged incidents that occurred in September 2020. One case involves four felony counts of sexual assault and abuse, while the other involves one felony count of criminal sexual abuse. A court date for these cases is scheduled for next week.

In response to the allegations, Megan Brilley, the director of public relations for The Langham, stated that the hotel terminated Mitchell “immediately” after a complaint was lodged against him in 2020. Brilley also emphasized that the hotel conducts extensive background checks on its employees, including appropriate criminal, employment, and sex offender checks. She reiterated The Langham’s commitment to maintaining a culture of respect and accountability among its employees.

The lawsuit further alleges that The Langham failed to act upon the complaint made by a customer in 2019, who reported Mitchell for inappropriate conduct. Instead of hiring an external investigator, the hotel’s Human Resources director allegedly counseled Mitchell “on how not to make clients feel uncomfortable.” The plaintiff in the most recent lawsuit against The Langham claims that Mitchell remained in the treatment room while she was changing and exposed her genitalia during the massage.

Expressing her anger and heartbreak, the plaintiff hopes that by sharing her experience, other women who may have faced similar incidents at The Langham will come forward. She believes that justice is being served, but demands an explanation from the hotel as to why such traumatic experiences were allowed to occur. Standing in solidarity, she assures other victims that they are not alone and encourages them to share their stories.

It is crucial for establishments like The Langham to ensure the safety and well-being of their patrons. With the settlement of these two lawsuits, the hotel must now reflect on its practices and take necessary steps to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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