Philly Law Firm Takes Pulse Survivors on Harrowing Road Trip
In an alleged effort to recruit survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting as clients, a Philadelphia-based law firm sent two existing clients – survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre – on a recruiting expedition, perhaps assuming they could secure clients by empathizing with their experiences. Worse, the victims were sent out on the exploitative road trip with the firm’s office manager, who had originally recruited the men, but who had been accused of trading sex for legal services in the past.
The Pulse survivors, who initially believed the road trip would be therapeutic for their recovery from the trauma, were instead sexually harassed by the office manager. The survivors claim the office manager treated them like employees, badgering them to “do their job and get other people to sign up,” according to the lawsuit they filed against the firm they first believed would represent them for the injuries they suffered.
Adding Injury to Injury
During the road trip, the Pulse survivors say they were sexually harassed by the “sex hungry” office manager. When they rejected his advances, they say he threatened to stop paying for food and lodging during the trip. They also claim they received vulgar text messages and pornographic images from the office manager.
Following the rejections by the plaintiff victims, the office manager repeatedly harassed and threatened the men, behaving in a wildly erratic manner. Without the means to return home, the plaintiffs had to endure the man’s continued taunts, threats, unwanted solicitations, and reckless driving that nearly caused several accidents and resulted in both plaintiffs hitting their heads on the roof of the car in which they were traveling.
Matthew A. Luber of McOmber & McOmber, P.C. is part of the legal team representing the victims. Mr. Luber asserts the law firm that was using the victims to recruit new clients should have known that the office manager was predatory. That firm was served with a 2016 lawsuit that alleged the office manger had traded sex for legal services.
The Pulse nightclub, a gay bar and dance club located in Orlando, Florida, was the scene of the second-worst mass shooting by a single gunman in the United States, and the second-deadliest terrorist attack since the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. During this horrific event, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured.
Almost immediately after the shooting, the office manager introduced himself to the Pulse victims and successfully solicited them to be clients of his firm. It was then that the lines of legal ethics started to blur. Soon after securing the two plaintiffs as clients, the office manager created and maintained a Facebook group named “Survivors of Mass Shootings,” with the stated purpose of helping victims come together to heal from their tragedies. The defendant allegedly presented himself as a fellow victim as the Facebook group conveniently became a veritable database of victims for his law firm. Additionally, on behalf of his law firm employer, the office manager convinced one of the plaintiffs to record a promotional video to recruit other clients.
Click here to read the full complaint.
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