BOTCHED: Beauty Treatment Gone Wrong

05 MAY 2020


Cosmetic procedures are very common these days. Beauty salons in every local shopping centre offer a range of treatments and procedures, ranging from relatively inexpensive and non-invasive, to complex and expensive procedures. Often, we don’t know much about the procedures or know what to expect, but we are hopeful of achieving the outcome we want.

When we undertake a procedure in the pursuit of beauty, we expect that the salon will advise us of the risks involved. This allows us to make an informed decision about whether to undertake those risks. In a recent case in the NSW District Court, the beauty salon’s employee failed to properly advise of the risks, which unfortunately in this case, did eventuate.

A 33 year old woman decided to undergo an ultrasound cosmetic facial procedure, which had been described by a trained beauty therapist as “very safe”. The woman had paid the (not insignificant) sum of $5000 in advance for the procedure. At the first consultation, she had changed out of her clothes and was lying down, a numbing agent had been applied to her face in preparation for the ultrasound procedure, and at that time, an employee asked her to sign the fourth page of a document which was explained to her to be required for “a legal issue”. No explanation was provided to her about the risks of the procedure or the contents of the form. She signed the form without reading it and the procedure was performed, leaving her with permanent disfiguration including “bumping” of the face, and patches of darkened skin around her mouth.

The Court found that the beauty clinic, by its employee, had failed to provide proper warning to the woman about the risks of the procedure, and that she was entitled to rely on the statements made to her about the safety of the procedure. The woman was successful in her claim and was awarded compensation.

If you have any questions on the above article please contact Joe Bonura on or Tess Danjoux on or by phoning 02 4626 5077.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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