Compensation for ear piercing infection
Studies show that 1 in 4 body piercings require medical attention. The majority of these problems are minor. However, in some circumstances body piercings can go seriously wrong.
I acted for G who had the upper part of her left ear pierced on 11 June 2007. G attended the defendant’s premises and was not given any warnings about the risks or complications involved in relation to her piercing. The lady piercing G’s ear was not wearing any surgical gloves and did not wash her hands before the procedure or sterilise G’s ear.
Following the piercing, G’s ear progressively became very sore and swollen. She attended her GP and was prescribed antibiotics. She was also advised to remove the earring, which she did. The swelling in G’s ear did not go down and the pain began to deteriorate.
G was then seen in the ENT Clinic at Mayday University Hospital and after another unsuccessful round of antibiotics, she was advised that the cosmetic appearance of her ear was unlikely to improve by itself. She was admitted to Mayday University Hospital on 2 April 2008 where she underwent surgery to explore and remodel her left ear.
I obtained medical evidence from a plastic surgeon who thought that G developed an infection of the cartilage as a result of the ear piercing on the 11 June 2007. Both parties’ experts agreed that the percentage chance of infection developing would have been very much reduced had the proper standards of hygiene been observed and G been warned of the importance of rigorous aftercare.
G was also suffering from psychological problems and therefore I instructed a psychiatrist who concluded that the disfigurement to G’s ear had increased some of her psychological problems i.e. low self esteem and self consciousness.
The defendants maintained their denial of liability throughout this case and as a result court proceedings were issued and served. G’s trial was listed for 2 April 2012. However, after negotiations the defendants eventually agreed to settle her case for £25,000.