Our client had attended the defendant’s beauty salon on previous occasions to have her hair done. Our client made an appointment to attend the premises in order to receive hairdressing services, namely to have ‘full head of foils’ performed. After completing three quarters of our client’s head with ‘foils’, our client noticed a burning sensation on her scalp and started to remove the foils from her head. The defendant’s agent then said to our client ‘No, leave it, it is not the scalp, it should be fine’ and thereupon picked up a hairdryer, put it on the cold setting and applied it to the area where the burning sensation was stemming from. Our client was then placed under a rotator heater/light machine and after a short period of time experienced more severe burning pain over her scalp. Our client then called out for someone to assist her as the burning sensation was unbearable. The solution was washed off and the agent proceeded to blow-dry our client’s hair while the burning sensation continued.
As a result of the defendant and/or their agent’s wrongful actions our client suffered a severe full thickness burn affecting an area of her scalp and was required to undergo extended treatment, including hospital admission and hospital treatment. Our client experienced ongoing disability, as she had severe scarring on her scalp, sensitivity on the area of the burn and loss of hair growth on the area of burn. Further, she was unable to do certain hairstyles due to the burn, was unable to colour her hair and needed to avoid the sun. There was a possibility that she would require surgery in the future as a result of the scar.
Our client was completely unsatisfied with the treatment by the defendant, and wished to take legal action against them for their negligence. She approached our firm, Gerard Malouf & Partners, as she wanted someone to deal with her case in an efficient and professional manner. Christine Beshay, one of our compensation lawyers who specialises in public liability claims, took on her case. Our client was extremely impressed with Christine’s experience and knowledge in this area of law.
The relevant documentation – such as clinical notes, medical reports of treating doctors and clinical notes of hospitals – were requested. Medico-legal appointments were arranged to take place between the client and various doctors, so we were able to obtain an accurate report regarding our client’s claim against the defendant. Liability reports were also obtained and served on the defendant. With this information, Christine was able to formulate a strong argument against the defendant and/or their agent.
The basis of our submission was that the defendant and/or their agent were in breach of their obligations to our client pursuant to their contract. They failed to take adequate safe and proper care, and did not take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable injury during the application of chemicals. Further, they failed to consider the strength of the chemicals and they did not maintain a safe system of working with chemicals during the procedure. Even when our client made the defendant aware of the burning sensation, the Agent did not adequately respond to the danger and did not minimise the risk arising from applying such chemicals to our client’s head.
The defendant, aware of the strength of our argument, indicated that they were willing to settle the matter outside of Court, and an Informal Settlement Conference was arranged. This would essentially save our client the hassle, money and time of running the matter in Court. Offers commenced with us conveying an offer of $75,000.00, and the defendant responding with $25,000.00. Negotiations continued until the defendant reached its final position of $52,000.00 compensation at the Informal Settlement Conference. Our client was extremely pleased with the result managed by our compensation lawyer.