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Cosmetic treatment claims

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  • Overview
  • Our Experts

Claiming for Negligence and Breach of Contract with Beauty Treatments

 

Having beauty treatment is meant to improve your self-esteem and enhance your features. However, if performed improperly, it can have just the opposite effect.

In recent years, the cosmetic treatment and beauty industry has boomed, owing to a surge in demand for treatments which include Botox, dermal fillers, eyebrow microblading and lip fillers.

According to the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service (IHAS), about 200,000 anti-wrinkle injections (including Botox and dermal fillers) are carried out in the UK each year. Most cosmetic procedures are carried out privately, rather than on the NHS. An alarming number of these treatments are unregulated. Worryingly, a beauty therapist applying potentially toxic substances to your face may not hold any qualifications to administer the relevant treatment. There is no government regulation, no accountability, and no supervisory body to oversee such beauty practices. The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) is calling for stricter controls over cosmetic procedures with only trained doctors, nurses and dentists being able to provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as Botox. Currently anyone, such as beauticians with no medical training, can administer these semi-invasive treatments.

Botox injections

 

Botox injections, if not carried out by a highly trained and suitably qualified practitioner, can result in the following:

  • Droopy eyelid or asymmetrical eyebrows;
  • Crooked smile or drooling;
  • Muscle weakness all over the body;
  • Vision problems;
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing;
  • Trouble breathing; and
  • Loss of bladder control.

Dermal Fillers

 

Incorrectly administered dermal fillers can go disastrously wrong, with outcomes consisting of:

1) Infection.

This can be caused by poor aftercare or even poor hygiene practices by the person administering the injections.

2) Allergic reactions.

If your practitioner has not adequately patch tested your skin prior to treatment, then there is a risk you will not know if you will suffer an allergic reaction to the substance that is being injected into your skin. The types of severity of allergic reactions can vary widely.

3) Inflammatory nodule formation.

This is a usually a form of late allergic reaction, where the filler provokes a reaction from the surrounding skin tissue that results in the formation of lumps in the skin after the treatment has been completed.

4) Lumps in your skin.

This can be due to the filler being injected too superficially, or a deep filler like calcium hydroxylapatite being used in a place where it shouldn't be used, such as in the lips. The fillers can also pull in quite a lot of water which can result in swelling.

5) Vascular problems.

If the filler is inadvertently injected into an artery, it can become blocked, resulting in the area of the skin which is supplied with blood and oxygen by that artery, dying. Your skin will quickly become white, painful and later on it may break down.

Eyebrow Treatments such as Microblading

 

One of the growing areas for beauty treatments is microblading, also known as eyebrow feathering. The tip of the tool used is not a blade, it is a combination of needles all joined together. The tool makes tiny slits in the eyebrows to give the optical illusion of hairs that mimic eyebrow hair. The slit is then filled with ink, similar to a tattoo. The results can last up to 3 years.

In inexperienced hands the results can be devastating to an individual’s face. Recently, our firm has successfully won a case at trial on behalf of a client who underwent eyebrow microblading. She had wanted a natural brown pigment to her eyebrows to complement her features; what she got, however, were thick blue lines across her eyebrows, as if drawn on by marker pen.

The images below are of that client's eyebrows (left to right) before the treatment, after the treatment, and after her first session of laser treatment in order to remove the tattoo ink. She is continuing to undergo laser treatment to remove the tattoo effect.

Cosmetic Claims

Due to the extent of the embedded ink, the only option to try and remove the thick, heavy lines was via laser therapy. There are also risks with laser removal, which includes permanent hair loss. It is likely our client’s eyebrow hair will never re-grow. The effect such disastrous treatment can have on an individual is significant; not only the physical damage, but also the psychological effects, which can be long lasting and debilitating in their own way.

On what basis could a claim be brought?

 

Claims can be brought against unregulated beauty treatment providers on the following basis:

  1. In Negligence; such as failing to carry out a patch test and failing to warn of the risks involved in the treatment.
  2. In Breach of Contract; i.e. the end result is so different from what you had expected/paid for. 

When someone like a beauty therapist provides a treatment, you are entering into a service contract with them- they provide a service for which you provide payment.

As part of the contract, you are entitled to expect the service you receive will be of a reasonable standard, and be performed with a reasonable level of skill and care. Where a service provider, such as a beauty therapist, falls below this level, the contract is breached. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 sets out the standard of service to be expected, and your rights if that standard is not met.

Frequently asked questions

 

What can I claim for?

There is no definitive list in relation to what you can claim for, however common losses can include the following:

  • Physical effects such allergic reactions and disfigurement;
  • Psychological effects - defective treatment may impact on the self-esteem of an individual, affecting their mental health and self-confidence;
  • Costs of restorative treatment;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Travel Expenses;

How long will a claim take?

Every claim is different and therefore it is very difficult to answer this question. Should the Defendant be willing to engage with us at an early stage, it is possible that your matter could be settled within 12 months. However, in our experience, it is likely to take much longer than that. In some instances we have had no alternative but to issue formal Court proceedings against a Defendant should they be reluctant to make a reasonable offer of settlement. Much will also depend on what, if any, corrective treatment is required and how long that treatment will take.

The beauty treatment provider is uninsured, what can I do?

Because a treatment provider is uninsured, does not necessarily mean it is the end of the road for your claim. We will take all necessary steps to investigate the solvency of the individual or their business, as it may be an option to either pursue them personally or the business which provided the treatment.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on your individual case.

When you take your claim forward we will calculate the value of your claim based on several different factors. As well as general damages for the pain and suffering the negligent treatment has caused, we will also consider other claims you may have, such as the impact the botched treatment has had on your quality of life, the effect on your earnings and the potential psychological impact the treatment has had on you.

Once your claim has been valued you will then need to prove your losses to the court in order to be successful. This is quantifiable in some cases, such as through financial documents and payslips. In other cases, you can show your medical treatment record to support your claims, such as those indicating the level of pain you were experiencing at the time. You may also need an expert report in the desired field to demonstrate that your beauty practitioner fell below the standard required for that particular treatment. We will help you with all of this.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of professional negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • Over 30 years’ experience in compensation claims

Talk to us today

Call us today on 0808 301 8622 for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your unsatisfactory treatment. You may also be able to claim on a No Win No Fee basis which means that you won’t pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful.

Claire Critchley

Our Financial, Property and Professional Claims team is headed by senior solicitor Claire Critchley who has over 10 years experience dealing with complex legal claims against a variety of professionals including surveyors, architects, estate agents and solicitors, in addition to dealing with financial disputes involving mis-sold mortgages and interest rate swaps. Claire also has significant past experience in representing large companies and financial institutions in a range of different legal service areas including breach of contract, debt recovery and insolvency litigation. Claire is currently leading the pursuit of a group claim in relation to a £2 million property investment case known as Enterprise House in Leicester.

  • This is not about a claims culture. We just want to defend the rights of the people who are suffering because of this.

    Claire Critchley,
    Head of Professional Negligence

Patricia Murphy

Patricia has 6 years of file-handling experience in litigation and currently has responsibility for a mixed case load including property related legal negligence claims, claims against architects and contract disputes. Highlights for Patricia have included conduct of high value multi-track cases, with the value of damages awarded often exceeding £100,000. Patricia also has significant experience handling a range of personal injury disputes.

Chris Tetzlaff

Chris has over 6 years of experience as a litigation file-handler and currently has responsibility for a mix of disputes involving legal negligence, contract disputes and housing disrepair.  Chris also has significant experience in and knowledge of personal injury litigation. Past highlights have included working extensively with leading Counsel on a number of catastrophic injury and fatal accident claims worth between £250,000 - £2,000,000 involving forensic accident reconstruction and complex, life-changing injuries including brain injury, amputation and severe psychological trauma.

Catherine Donnelly

In early 2015, Catherine began working in the firm as a paralegal whilst completing the Legal Practice Course. In January 2017, she became a Trainee Solicitor and is currently completing her third seat. She has also completed seats in Group Litigation and Residential Conveyancing. Outside of work, Catherine is an enthusiastic baker who loves to paint. She is a regular contributor to fund raising events for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support charities. She is also a passionate member of the National Trust, and loves to spend her time visiting various locations throughout the UK.

Aileen Wood

Aileen joined the firm in 2012 as a Legal Assistant in the Group Litigation Department.  She joined the Professional Negligence team a couple of years later where she is now a Paralegal having completed a 12 month internal development programme. Aileen enjoys taking part in charity events such as her most recent event, Hell Runner. She also loves spending time with her family which includes her fiancé and two step children. Most of all, she loves everything relating to Christmas.

Kathy McQuillan

Kathy has been a Legal Assistant in the Professional Negligence team since joining the firm in December 2016. She also completed her Law Degree in 2016 and is currently undertaking the Legal Practice Course. Outside of work, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family.