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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Monday, October 9, 2017

I Was Burned During a Hot Stone Massage - Can I Sue For Disfigurement?

Yes, you can sue for disfigurement.

Hot stone massages should be relaxing and rejuvenating, that’s why they are so popular. Massage therapists are trained to use just the right amount of heat, apply just the right amount of pressure and be mindful of their patients, especially considering the stones used are very hot. Sadly, there are instances where clients have suffered burns while receiving hot stone massages from untrained or negligent massage therapists. Sometimes, the spa may not even be licensed.

If you suffered severe burns or disfigurement while having a hot stone massage, the staff on duty may have been negligent and hence liable for your injuries. Talk to a Texas personal injury lawyer to get started on your case against the spa.

Are Hot Stone Massages Dangerous?

Done carefully by a cautious, trained professional, a hot stone massage is not dangerous. Here’s why.

Before you arrive at the spa, a massage therapist sanitizes the stones she will use during the massage. The stones are then heated in bath water at 120-150 degrees. Because they are smoothened black volcanic rocks, they absorb heat well and retain it long enough for use during the massage.

When you arrive, the massage therapist will have you lie face down as she works your back using the hot stones. This is meant to relieve muscle tension and relax damaged soft tissue. Bigger stones are used on the bigger muscles while smaller stones are used on the smaller muscles. Some stones are placed on specific points of the body such as the spine, stomach or palms to ease the flow of energy and relieve stress.

Performed correctly, hot stone massages are actually beneficial to your body. However, when they are improperly done such as when the stones are left heating for far too long and the therapist uses them on your skin or when the therapist fails to use a layer of protection between your sensitive skin and the hot stones to protect you from burns, the massages become dangerous. As a result, you suffer injuries such as:

  • Severe burns
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

These lead to high medical expenses, lost wages because of the time you take away from work to recuperate, lost income if the injuries are professionally incapacitating such as for models, emotional trauma, pain and suffering.

Suing for Hot Stone Massage Injuries

The law defines negligence as doing something that a reasonably prudent person would not have done in similar circumstances or the failure of a person to do something that a reasonably prudent person would have done under the same circumstances.

If a massage therapist was negligent during your massage, say she did or did not do something that a reasonable therapist would have done under the same circumstances, causing you to suffer personal injury, you can sue for damages. You can claim damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering

To succeed in a personal injury claim against the spa, you will have to prove:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care to act or not act in a certain way that could cause you injury
  • The defendant breached that duty of care
  • The breach of duty of care caused your injury
  • It was reasonably foreseeable that the breach would cause such injury
  • Your injuries can be covered by an award for damages.

Often, spa owners are reluctant to admit fault when customers are injured under their watch. It happened to this woman from Houston, Texas after she was disfigured during a hot stone massage. Whether spa owners like it or not, you have rights and you can have them enforced.

If you suffered disfigurement as a result of a serious burn, schedule a consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer.

 


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