April 27, 2015
In judicial arbitration conducted before a panel of three, Naomi Plakins secured a defense judgment in favor of her client, a board certified general surgeon, who had been accused of improper technique in the use of a surgical laser during a hair removal procedure on Plaintiff's upper lip. The patient, a former model, sustained a visible burn on her upper lip which ultimately developed into permanent facial scarring.
The surgeon testified on both direct and cross examination that facial burns are an inherent risk of any laser procedure regardless of all due care, and that such risk was explained to the patient. Furthermore, the doctor's records indicated that the patient had admitted to using facial waxing products in between laser sessions, which the doctor had explicitly instructed her not to do. On cross examination, the patient admitted that she understood the risk of burns and scars, but denied the use of prohibited waxing products, yet could not explain the reference to such wax use as contained in the medical chart.
The panel, sitting as both trier of fact and law, rendered a judgment in favor of the Defendant surgeon. The Judgment was unanimous.