Scott Depot woman says men watched her while she was in tanning salon

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 20, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A Scott Depot woman is suing Sahara Tanning Salon after she claims she discovered men watching her after she got out of a tanning bed.

Ghassan Assi and Ibrahim Fawaz, the former and current directors of the tanning salon, also were named as defendants in the suit.

On April 13, Samantha Simms visited the tanning salon for a tanning session, according to a complaint filed July 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Simms claims she disrobed completely, applied tanning lotion and then got into the tanning bed for about 12 minutes.

When the session was over, Simms opened and climbed out of the tanning bed, still nude, and began to dry herself off with a towel due to perspiration caused by the heat of the tanning bed, according to the suit.

Simms claims while drying herself off, she stood in front of a mirror on the wall opposite of the tanning bed and she noticed what appeared to be a light reflecting in the upper corner of the mirror, so she turned around to see a ceiling tile out of place, revealing a few men working in the ceiling above her tanning room.

Upon information and belief, the men watched Simms disrobe, apply tanning lotion while nude, enter and exit the tanning bed and dry herself off before putting her clothes back on, according to the suit.

Simms claims she quickly dressed upon realizing she was being watched, exited the tanning room and went to the front desk, where she informed the worker at the front desk about the men working above her room and asked to speak with the manager.

The salon employee informed Simms that no manager nor any person with authority was available, according to the suit.

Simms claims while near the front desk, she saw a ladder and a missing ceiling tile, indicating the known presence of workmen, and while speaking with the employee, she saw the workmen leave the building.

Because of the incident, Simms became and has remained extremely upset at the thought of being seen naked by strangers in a place where she had come to expect requisite privacy associated with the nature of tanning, according to the suit.

Simms claims the defendants' failure to protect the privacy of their customers from prying eyes of workman was extreme and outrageous.

The defendants' actions were an invasion of privacy and were intentional and reckless, according to the suit.

Simms is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Lia DiTrapano Fairless and Elizabeth G. Kavitz.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1533

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