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Can a Med Spa Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Med spas are growing in popularity as both men and women discover the benefits of medical care combined with spa services. Med spas offer medical-grade aesthetic procedures in a relaxing spa setting. Unfortunately, not all med spas adhere to the required standards of care in their practices. Acts below the professional duty of care have led to poor patient outcomes and related Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuits for serious injuries such as chemical burns, infections, and significant scarring and disfigurement.

What Is a Med Spa? Does it Qualify as a Medical Facility?

A medical spa or med spa is a combination beauty spa and medical clinic. It provides medical treatments that are focused on the aesthetic, such as nonsurgical light and laser treatments and injectables such as Botox. The procedures offered are often noninvasive or minimally invasive. Despite not being a traditional doctor’s office, if a med spa offers medical procedures, a licensed physician must be the owner. Any health care provider administering a medical treatment in a med spa must have proper education, training and licensure.

Services commonly offered at med spas include:

  • Botox injections
  • Kybella injections
  • Juvéderm
  • Facials
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • CoolSculpting
  • Laser hair removal
  • Acne treatments
  • Plastic surgeries
  • Breast augmentation
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  • Tattoo removal

A medical spa may provide a more relaxed environment for patients, but that does not mean the standards of care are any lower than at other medical facilities. Conducting medical procedures – even if they are cosmetic or aesthetic – requires a valid medical license. In addition, many states are passing new regulations for medical spa procedures and licensure requirements to prohibit having a cosmetologist providing treatment that should be provided by a doctor.

$1.25 Million Judgment Award for a Med Spa Malpractice Victim

Recently, the attorneys at Youman & Caputo obtained a $1.25 million judgment against Future Medical Spa PLLC for a patient who suffered permanent scarring on her face due to a botched Kybella injection. The judgment consisted of $750,000 in compensatory damages (which included pain and suffering caused by multiple revision surgeries) plus $500,000 in punitive damages. A judge awarded punitive damages for “outrageous and reckless” conduct by the provider, who had completed the procedure with a suspended nursing license.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against a Med Spa

Med spas present unique risks to patients as an in-between service provider. Being both a spa and a medical clinic may lead to substandard patient care and a higher risk of medical malpractice. Malpractice occurs when a health care provider violates the standards of care and causes patient injury, harm or death.

You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against a med spa if the following elements exist:

  • Professional duty of care – the medical provider or clinician owed you a professional duty of care, meaning an obligation to meet the accepted standards of care for med spas in Pennsylvania.
  • Breach of the duty of care – the defendant violated the professional duty of care or acted below the expectation of reasonable patient care.
  • Causation – the defendant’s breach of the standard of care was a cause of your injury, illness, infection, scarring or disfigurement.
  • Damages – you suffered specific damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence, such as physical injuries, medical bills and lost wages.

If you have suffered harm as a result of negligent treatment at a med spa in Pennsylvania, you may be able to recover damages for your ordeal. If you or a loved one suffered burns, infection, scarring, excessive bleeding, anesthesia complications, improper injections or other harm from a med spa procedure, consult with an attorney about a potential lawsuit.