Bronson Healthcare’s Lifestyle Improvement & Research Center/Athletic Club of Kalamazoo is desperately attempting to escape a civil suit tied to the 2012 sexual assault of a 7-year old girl by one of their staffers.
“This sexual assault should have never happened and was absolutely preventable,” said attorney Ven Johnson of Johnson Law in Grand Rapids, which is representing the victim’s mother and another parent. “Bronson Athletic Club was entrusted with the child’s safety, and it is shocking and disappointing that a leader focused on community and children is failing to step up and take responsibility for this tragedy.”
The teenager responsible for the assault was later convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court. But the victim’s mother says Bronson Athletic Club also is responsible for the crime as they were negligent in its hiring, training and supervision of the teen. She has stated her daughter is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We entrusted Bronson with our daughter and their failure to apply industry standard policies and procedures put our daughter in harm’s way,” said the mother, who is represented by Johnson.
Bronson, one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers, has taken the stance that Bronson is not liable for the crime committed by their employee. They are trying to have the suit dismissed. Soon after the sexual assault, the State of Michigan began investigating the summer camp and discovered it was unlicensed. The camp then voluntarily closed and hasn’t reopened. The case is ongoing.