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Injuries From Laser Hair Removal, Other Procedures Sparking Lawsuits Against Medical Spas

Sep 8, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Patients of medical spas are increasingly filing lawsuits over injuries sustained as a result of procedures aimed at removing facial hair, wrinkles and acnes scars, according to a report in The New York Law Journal.  According to one personal injury attorney interviewed by the Journal, medical spas are lightly regulated, and are being used by consumers more frequently - a formula that could lead to an explosion of litigation involving such facilities in the coming years.

According to The New York Law Journal, medical spas are facilities where small plastic surgery procedures are performed.  They should not be confused with day spas, where clients can receive facials, massages and other treatments.  According to the Law Journal article, most states require that the plastic surgery procedures being performed at medical spas be supervised by a doctor.  Sadly, that doesn't always happen, and injuries can result.

According to The New York Law Journal, laser hair removal procedures are triggering many medical spa lawsuits.  In one case detailed by the Law Journal article, an Arizona woman was "severely burned and scarred" during such a procedure.  In another Arizona lawsuit, a man claims he sustained scarring, "extreme pain" and burning from laser hair removal on his back and shoulders.

Plaintiffs in these cases can often win big judgments and settlements, the Law Journal said.  For instance, earlier this year a North Carolina woman won a $500,000 judgment against a medical spa over a serious blood infection she allegedly developed from a procedure to reduce fat in her stomach.  

An attorney who represents medical spas in product liability lawsuits told The New York Law Journal that such facilities are being "targeted" by the plaintiffs bar.  The attorney said such facilities could protect themselves by making sure that risks of procedures are fully disclosed, and that they obtain and document patients' informed consent.

In the meantime, some states are moving to tighten regulations for medical spas, the Law Journal said.

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