A claim for an injury due to a negligent hair removal treatment has been resolved in court with the plaintiff being awarded $1.5 million.
Paige Peterson (22), a student from Hunterdon County in New Jersey, made her claim for an injury due to a negligent hair removal treatment after visiting the Hunterdon Family Practice and Obstetrics Clinic in Flemington in July 2010, and undergoing hair removal treatment on her arms.
The physician who attended Paige – Dr. Lisa Plunkett – had performed the treatment on Paige several times before but, soon after this appointment, Paige developed rectangular-shaped second-degree burns from her wrists up to the middle of her forearms.
It took a year for the 1.5 x 0.5 inch stripes along Paige´s arms to diminish – during which time she had to wear sunscreen lotion under long-sleeved clothing. When she was allowed to dispense with the precautions against further damaging her skin, Paige found that when her arms tanned, the burned portions of her arms remained pale.
Page subsequently made a claim for an injury due to a negligent hair removal treatment against Dr. Plunkett – alleging that the physician had deviated from the standard of care for laser hair removal treatment by performing the procedure while Paige had significantly sun tanned arms.
In her legal action, Paige claimed that the laser device used in the hair removal treatment cannot differentiate between dark hair and dark skin pigmentation, and this resulted in the laser burning her skin. She also claimed that the injury was permanent and that she will have to wear long-sleeved clothes for the rest of her life.
The claim for an injury due to a negligent hair removal treatment was contested by Dr. Plunkett, whose legal representatives argued that Paige´s condition was caused by a naturally occurring and known reaction to the treatment. Unable to come to a negotiated settlement, the case was heard by a jury at the Hunterdon County Supreme Court before Judge Michael F. O´Neill.
After nine days of testimony and 3 hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Paige – awarding her $1.5 million compensation in resolution of her claim for an injury due to a negligent hair removal treatment.