Med Spa Sued by SIL for Causing Laser Injury and Burns During Laser Procedure
Last week, our firm received an answer to a lawsuit filed against a medical spa in the greater Phoenix area. The med spa held itself out as a place to receive laser aesthetics, facials, hair removal and lash extensions. The answer to the lawsuit was filed by the company that owns and runs the spa.
The Laser Burn Lawsuit Filed Against the Med Spa
Scottsdale Injury Lawyers filed the lawsuit against the med spa this year. The lawsuit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. The lawsuit is pending in front of the Honorable Sara Agne.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the firm’s client who suffered serious burns as the result of a laser hair removal procedure. The procedure was performed in March of 2021. The client suffered several burns on her legs that resulted in permanent scarring.
The Allegations Against the Med Spa Advanced in the Laser Burn Injury Case
Our personal injury attorneys filed an amended complaint in the laser burn injury lawsuit. A complaint is the filing in a lawsuit that sets forth the allegations against a defendant. The allegations from the amended complaint in the laser burn lawsuit are set forth below:
- On March 18, 2021, Plaintiff presented to the medical spa to have a laser hair removal procedure performed.
- On the aforementioned date and time, one of the medical spa’s agents or employees named Lauren (hereinafter “Lauren Doe”) attempted to remove hair located on Plaintiff’s leg by using a laser device.
- During the procedure, Plaintiff began feeling a tremendous amount of pain and decided that she could not tolerate it any further. As such, Plaintiff left the medical spa without completing the procedure.
- Unknown to Plaintiff at the time, Lauren Doe had seriously burned several portions of Plaintiff’s legs.
- Plaintiff was unaware of this error until the following morning when she realized that several burns had developed on both of her legs.
- Following the incident, Plaintiff exchanged messages with Lauren Doe. Lauren Doe admitted that she failed to check the settings on the laser and claimed that was the reason why Plaintiff was burned.
- At the time Plaintiff was burned, she was 20 years old and a model signed with the Ford Agency.
- The burns have left unsightly and disfiguring scars on Plaintiff’s legs. These scars are rectangular and symmetrical. The symmetrical nature of the scars makes them more prominent.
- As a direct and proximate result of being burned, Plaintiff suffered, and continues to suffer mental, emotional, economic and physical injuries.
- At all relevant times, Defendant, was the medical director of the medical spa.
- Upon information and belief, Defendant, was responsible for the training, supervision and management of the laser hair removal technicians that worked at the medical spa including Lauren Doe. This includes making sure that they were competent and adequately trained on the laser machines to ensure that they could safely and properly administer laser treatments to individuals including Plaintiff.
The Medical Spa Claims It is Not Responsible and Does Not Employ the Technicians that Work There
Earlier this month, the medical spa filed its answer to the lawsuit. In its answer it claimed that it was not responsible for the acts of the technicians and other workers at its med spa. It claimed that it did not employ the technician who caused the burns.
The medical spa said that the technician was not an employee but an independent contractor. Specifically, the med spa set forth “Defendant affirmatively alleges that the alleged responsible parties were independent contractors and Defendant is not liable for their actions.” As a result, the medical spa took the position that it did not have to pay for the injuries caused by those who work there.
The medical spa took the position that it did not have to pay for the injuries caused by those who work there.
Typically, under the law, a company is responsible for the mistakes of its employees. However, if the company only has independent contractors as workers, it can avoid responsibility for the mistakes those workers make. Sometimes, companies will designate workers as independent contractors when they are actually employees. Whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee, for which a company is ultimately responsible, involves an analysis of multiple factors. However, the most important factor is the control the company has over the worker.
The Medical Spa Appears to Have No Insurance to Cover Injuries to Customers
The claim of our client was presented to the medical spa’s insurance company. The insurance company sent a letter denying coverage. Specifically, the insurance claims representative set forth “I am writing to advise we have completed our coverage analysis … and determined the claims submitted by the insured is not covered by this policy.”
The Medical Spa’s Attorney Indicated that it Could Easily File for Bankruptcy If Needed
One of our attorneys was contacted by the attorney who entered the lawsuit for the medical spa. That attorney stated that all the individuals who worked at the medical spa were independent contractors. He further stated that this is how it worked at these med spas. Finally, he claimed if we obtained any judgment awarding damages to our client for her laser burn injuries, that the medical spa could just file for bankruptcy to avoid financial responsibility.
Go to a Reputable Medical Spa and Check Insurance
At this point, it is unclear if the technician who performed the procedure has any insurance to cover the client’s injuries. It does not appear that the medical spa required the technicians to carry insurance. However, that still needs further investigation. What is clear, is that the medical spa does not have insurance to cover the injury.
Our injury attorneys recommend that you do research before selecting a provider or spa to perform a laser procedure or other procedure that could result in injury. This would include any of the following procedures:
- Laser tattoo removal
- Laser hair removal
- Laser facials
- Intense pulsed light therapy
- Laser fungus removal
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Filler and facial injections (Botox/Juvederm)
- Chemical peels
Protect Yourself Against Laser Burn Injuries and Other Med Spa Injuries
If you are getting a cosmetic procedure that could potentially result in injury, our injury attorneys recommend that you consider doing it at a licensed doctor’s office. Spending more to have a dermatologist’s office perform the procedure may leave you better protected if something goes wrong. If you do decide to have a procedure done at a med spa, find out if there is a medical doctor overseeing the facility and to what extent. Also, seek out the qualifications of the technician and anyone overseeing the technician. See if the individuals have the necessary licenses. Finally, ask about insurance and make sure there is a valid policy in place that would cover any resulting injury caused by the negligence of the person performing the service.
Contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers if You Experienced a Laser Burn Injury or Injury at a Med Spa
If you or a loved one suffered a laser burn injury or other injury at a med spa, contact one of our personal injury attorneys today. Our personal injury attorneys will provide a consultation and tell you if you can receive compensation for your injury. We only earn a fee if we recover for you and a consultation costs you nothing. Our attorneys have experience handling laser burn injury cases and other injuries resulting from spa treatments. Contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers today.
About the author: The content on this page was provided by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Previously Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. In 2022, he set a record $11.75 million dollar settlement for a case he handled against Maricopa County. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.
Disclaimer: The information on this web site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information on this page is attorney advertising. Reading and relying upon the content on this page does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact our law firm for a free consultation and to discuss your specific case and issues.