US woman wins $1.3m lawsuit after pedicure causes severe bacterial infection

Mel Buttigieg

A US woman intended to be pampered with a pedicure at her local beauty salon, but it instead left her with a severe bacterial infection that required surgery, so she sued the salon for $1.3 million.

Samantha Payne, of Richmond Virginia, developed painful boil-like lesions on her legs two to three weeks after a 2012 pedicure from the former Red Nails of T&I salon.

She sought medical advice when they didn't go away and doctors concluded she had developed a cutaneous mycobacterial infection, which causes painful sores to form, grow and spread up the legs.

The lawsuit was a

"Multiple surgeries were required to remove the infections, which left permanent scars," the law firm representing her, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, said in a statement.

"It's taken a confident, attractive young lady and made her to be self-conscious about her legs," Mr Payne's attorney Jamie Kessel said.

A lawsuit was filed against the former nail salon and its owner for medical bills, lost wages, pain, inconvenience, disfigurement, consumer protection claims, and punitive damages.

Following investigations into the salon, The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology suspended the salon’s cosmetology license, deeming it "negligent in failing to clean the pedicure chair basins".

Her attorney said the legal decision, handed down on Friday, was a "wake-up call" for salons to be adhere to health and safety standards.

“This verdict will not undo the pain our client has suffered, but it will help generate public awareness for the cleanliness requirements that nail salons and similar businesses are required to follow,” Mr Kessel said.

News break - February 5