ALTON — A former teenage employee of the West Alton Marina has filed a civil suit against owner Brian Fortier, former manager John Murray, and the company seeking more than $1 million as well as damages after he allegedly experienced sexual abuse during his employment at the marina. Fortier’s sisters Allyson Shea and Dierdre Tibbetts, who are officers in the company, are also named in the suit.

The lawsuit's plaintiffs are named as Father Doe, Mother Doe, and John Doe in the filing. The motion cites the use of pseudonyms to aid in protecting the minor plaintiff's privacy.

(5) comments

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100% agree with you Lynn. I pray for the victims. We stopped buying gas from them in August when we heard the news. Before the grandchildren took over WAM it was a wonderful family marina. It has been in a downward spiral since 2010. Many are aware of the ongoing business practices over there but stay silent in fear of losing their boat slip IMO

Rhode Island Gal

The Fortier Family has provided a fun, safe environment for teenagers for more than 30+ years. Unless there was a pattern of abuse, it doesn't seem plausible for me or anyone to take the role of accuser, judge, and jury.  I would suggest we step back and allow the authorities to finish their investigation in the criminal case, take this case to court, and only then if a guilty verdict is rendered against Mr. Fortier should the civil case move forward. The Fortier family is not guilty of anything until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If Mr. Fortier is "allegedly" guilty of sexual assault himself, why is he not imprisoned along with Mr. Murray as a "perceived" threat to society? I am not an attorney and need to ask; Is this normal to see a civil suit issued before a criminal case has been completed? Doesn't Mr. Fortier have a constitutional right as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, the right to 'Speedy Trial'? The Fortier family should not pay a dime to the "Doe" family until guilt has been established and declared.


Ultimately,  what is likely to happen here, is that the Fortier family will have no choice moving forward but to employ aged 18+ employees, leaving this warm welcoming community depleted of a reputable establishment providing teenagers the opportunity to learn good work ethics,  and if applicable, save a few dollars for college tuition. In addition, Sherman Law of Portsmouth will continue to spend time targeting and chasing down other small family businesses that may be guilty of not having a formal written sexual harassment policy. I am quite impressed with the fact this business conducts  “performance reviews" on teenagers working in a "seasonal" business environment.  To other small "Mom & Pop" establishments out there, buckle up, there is nothing off-limits if your right of "presumed innocent until proven guilty" becomes "guilty without your day in court" to defend your innocence. 


Frankly it doesn't matter how good the family is the community when chlldren have been assaulted. I find it interesting that you are discounting the courage it took for this young man to step forward.


I cannot help but comment on this article as someone that knows this family and its years of contribution to Belknap County providing needed boating services to tourists in the Region.


The story appears to be so one-sided and full of inaccuracies. I guess if you include enough "alleged" descriptors of the charges it becomes appropriate to destroy this family and be free of liability.  For example, why would it state these two individuals were married, it's quite simple to obtain a marriage record, was this obtained before misleading the public? Let's for the sake of argument that they were married, this feels like a double standard where if Mr. Fortier were a female, or "the spouse",  would this attorney be so careless in stating that he and his Sisters "aided and abetted"  Mr. Murray's "alleged" conduct.  Would the "Marina's" lack of intervention, according to the complaint be equivalent to condoning Murray’s actions? Is the reader here to assume that the family must have known something?  Do all "wives" know of their partner's indiscretions? Viewing this complaint from the outside, the public shaming and prosecution of the Fortier family feels like a probable cause for a "human rights" case, as one of its family members happens to be a gay man, and guilt has been determined before the courts have rendered a decision.  This article reeks of statements formulating guilt and speaks directly to the "court of public opinion" which by definition; "Trying cases in the court of public opinion refers to using the news media to influence public support for one side or the other in a court case".


I would suggest you actually go read the filings of this case in court. What this young teen had to endure is disgusting but even more is your claims that this is only happening because the gentlemen charged are Gay. Children were sexually assaulted and by someone with authority over them. I applaud the young man's courage for stepping forward to remove this predator from continuing this abuse on other teens.

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