A New York City woman alleges she was physically accosted at an Upper West Side yoga class she attended at Pure Yoga. Melissa Hurley, a longtime member of Pure Yoga, claims she was groped and inappropriately touched several times by Pure Yoga’s instructor, Isaac Peña, during a yoga class. What’s worse is that other women had already complained about Isaac Peña to Pure Yoga prior to this incident.
Pure Yoga, owned and operated by Equinox, is unfortunately no stranger to sexual harassment allegations. In recent years, Equinox has faced more than five different lawsuits for allegedly ignoring or failing to properly investigate sex-related allegations. As a public establishment, Equinox has a duty to protect its patrons from acts such as those committed by Isaac Peña while teaching this Pure Yoga class. Furthermore, companies, like Equinox, that knew of should have known of an employees’ sexual misconduct, and failed to prevent it, will be held liable.
In this case, Ms. Hurley claims she was touched in a manner that was harmful, offensive, and nonconsensual. During class, Peña repeatedly came over to Ms. Hurley to inappropriately adjust her. Specifically, Peña groped Ms. Hurley’s buttocks cheek twice with his hands and pressed his penis and torso into her lower buttocks and upper leg area. Extremely angry and upset, Ms. Hurley, left the class before its conclusion and immediately reported Peña’s sexual abuse to the Company’s front desk receptionist and filed a police report. The manager who followed up with Ms. Hurley mentioned there had been a similar incident with the instructor and that they would investigate. Equinox claimed the investigation found no wrongdoing and did not lead to Peña’s immediate termination. Disgusted by the Company’s inaction, Ms. Hurley terminated her membership with Pure Yoga. This lawsuit seeks to recover damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other legal and equitable relief.
Whether it’s in your place of employment or an establishment you frequent, sexual harassment can occur anywhere. If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed, please call Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP for a free phone consultation. Speak to one of our available representatives now at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional information.