lawsuit | Law Office of Louiza Tarassova

Eyelash Growth Serum Lawsuit

By | Cosmetic Procedure Injury, cosmetic product lawsuit, eyelash growth serum, FDA, Litigation, Personal Injury, prostaglandin analog | No Comments

There are many eyelash growth serums currently on the market that promise to grow your lashes and make them appear darker and more beautiful. You may even have friends that have used these products, resulting in truly a miraculous effect. Unfortunately, the same ingredients that make your eyelashes grow can also cause serious and permanent eye problems.

Several months ago, I had a young woman email me with a nightmare story about how one of these serums, manufactured by a very popular over-the-counter cosmetics brand caused her to suffer permanent eye injuries. After doing some research and speaking with her, I was shocked to find out that the manufacturers of many of these eyelash growth serums do not disclose the real possibility of developing permanent eye injuries after using their products.

I knew immediately that she needed an attorney that is not only good but one that cares about cosmetic injury cases. Over the years, I have been focusing my practice on representing clients who suffered injuries from all kinds of botched cosmetic procedures. I think that I am naturally pulled towards this area of law because I am personally interested in the latest products and procedures that can keep me looking young! So, her situation was exactly the type of case that we love to do at LOU LAW and she was the perfect client to help.

The problem with eyelash growth serums.

You have probably seen advertisements for a product called Latisse (formally Allergan, now an AbbVie brand) which is a prescription lash growing serum. Latisse can only be purchased through a prescription from your doctor because it contains an ingredient considered to be a drug by the FDA called bimatoprost. Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog that was discovered to cause eyelash growth as a side effect to its originally intended use which was to treat glaucoma. In treating the eye disease with prostaglandins, scientists noticed that an unintended result of using prostaglandins, such as bimatoprost, caused the users’ eyelashes to grow and darken. This seemingly miraculous discovery had a great commercial opportunity because there are millions of people that want amazing looking eyelashes that are their own.

After Latisse came out, other cosmetic manufacturers began researching alternative prostaglandins that they could put in their own eyelash growth serums to compete with Latisse and give more options for customers desiring the long-lash effect. Thus, Isopropyl Cloprostenate was discovered to be as effective as bimatoprost at extending natural eyelashes. Isopropyl Cloprostenate is a synthetic prostaglandin analog that is used in many over-the-counter lash growth serums.

Unfortunately, prostaglandin analogs are known to cause serious and permanent eye problems.

In addition to eyelid discoloration and iris pigmentation (mostly impacting light-colored eyes), prostaglandin analogs are known to cause permanent blockage of meibomian glands which are responsible for secreting important oils that help clean and moisturize the eyes. People using eyelash growth serums are at risk for developing a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a term used to describe a group of disorders, both congenital and acquired, linked by functional abnormalities of the meibomian glands. Permanent side effects from these eye serums include constant dry eyes, eye infections, and recurrence of styes (chalazion and hordeolum) on the exterior and interior eyelids. Here is a great source of information about the effect of prostaglandins on the eye structure.

These awful side effects are well known to eye doctors who treat glaucoma. And there are numerous scientific and medical journal articles out there discussing the correlation between the use of topical prostaglandin analogs and serious eye problems. Yet, the warning labels on many of the eyelash serums containing prostaglandins do not mention anything about the risk of these serious side effects.

Also, it can be hard to find out whether a serum has a prostaglandin analog  because they are not listed as “prostaglandin.” Here is a list of examples of popular lash serums that contain prostaglandin analogs:

  • GrandeLASH -MD Lash Enhancing Serum (Grande Cosmetics) – contains Cloprostenol Isopropyl Ester, a prostaglandin analog;
  • Rapid Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum – contains Isopropyl Cloprostenate, a prostaglandin analog;
  • RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (RevitaLash Cosmetics) – contains Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide, a prostaglandin analog;
  • LiLash -contains Isopropyl Phenylhydroxypentene Dihydroxycyclopentylheptanate, a prostaglandin analog;
  • R+F Enhancements Lash Boost (Rodan + Fields) -contains Isopropyl Cloprostenate, a prostaglandin analog.

Often lash growth serum products do not warn about the side effects of prostaglandin analogs. If you look at the FQ&A’s and other labeling materials of the most popular lash growth serums, you will find that not only are side effects such as dry eye, styes, discoloration, Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), are not mentioned, to your surprise you will probably find that the companies state that their products are completely safe and side effect free. I have seen the manufacturers make bold statements that their prostaglandin analog lash serums are cosmetics and not prescription drugs, therefore no serious side effects should be expected.

Eyelash growth serums are drugs, not cosmetics because they contain prostaglandin analogs.

On April 18, 2011, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to Lifetech Resources, LLC the manufacturer of RapidLash Eyelash Renewal Serum (“RapidLash”), NeuLash Active Eyelash Technology (“NeuLash”), and NeuveauBrow Active Eyebrow Technology (“NeuveauBrow”) explaining to the company that the company’s labeling and promotional materials of the over-the-counter lash and brow growth serums that contain prostaglandin analogs are illegal. The FDA stated that “ ‘RapidLash’, ‘NeuLash’, and ‘NeuveauBrow’ are misbranded under section 502(a) because their labeling makes misleading statements regarding the product’s safety and also fails to reveal material facts with respect to consequences that may result from the use of the product.” Although the letter threatened “legal action without further notice… seizure and injunction” if the company does not correct the numerous violations cited in the letter, the product continues to be sold today.

How are these products being sold without a prescription and without proper warnings?

The answer is simple: No one has stopped them. The FDA seems to have a bark that is worse than its bite. Although it can threaten legal action, it is restricted by limited authority in the cosmetics realm. Cosmetic manufacturers are not required to get approval from the FDA before selling products in the United States. As long as a manufacturer uses the right language in describing its product, it can easily avoid enforcement proceedings by the FDA. If the product is labeled for “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” and not for treating an undesired condition, the product may continue to be sold on the market as a cosmetic.

This is exactly what happened with RapidLash. The manufacturer’s lawyers adjusted the language in the labeling materials and the product continues to be sold over the counter as a cosmetic, despite its prostaglandin analog ingredient.

Eyelash Growth Serum Lawsuit

If you suspect that you may have suffered an injury after using an eyelash serum, you should talk to your eye doctor about the products you have used and the ingredients it contains. Your doctor will help you identify if there is a correlation between the specific ingredients in your lash serum and the eye condition that you have been experiencing.

You have the right to file a lawsuit for your eye injuries resulting from eyelash growth serum.

If you have suffered injuries from using an eyelash growth serum containing a prostaglandin analog, you have a right to sue the manufacturer. There are several  theories of liability under which you can bring a lawsuit against the eyelash growth serum manufacturing companies, including product liability, negligence, misrepresentation and concealment, and other applicable state and federal laws.

Our law firm handles cosmetic injury cases and represents clients against product manufacturers. If you would like to have your case reviewed by an attorney at LOU LAW, contact us today at 1-855-554-6534.

Med Spas Without Medical Pros

By | Cosmetic Injury, Cosmetic Procedure Injury, Personal Injury | No Comments

I want to address a very disturbing trend that I am seeing emerge in the medical spa world.  Patients are being treated by unqualified office staff at medical spas, with no supervision by any medical professionals.

In my Cosmetic Procedure Injury practice, I have talked to a number of clients that report the same situation. They go to a medical spa for a cosmetic procedure, which they fully except to be performed by a medical professional such as a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant but they never actually meet with anyone other than non-medical staff members, who consult with the patients, perform the procedure, and even deal with post-procedure complications. The patient never knows that the person with whom they are dealing is not a medical professional. The office staff wear scrubs and speak authoritatively about the medical procedures. It is not until the patient gets injured and seeks the advice of an experienced attorney that they find out that the person performing the procedure is not licensed to do so.

To protect yourself, you should always check whether the person performing your cosmetic procedure has a Florida medical license with the Board of Medicine or any kind of license with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

In Florida, even electrologists who are licensed to work with lasers, to remove unwanted hair, are required to be under the direct supervision of a physician and the physician is required to personally meet with the patient for at least the initial consultation. It is logical that whenever someone is using a medical device to administer a procedure on a patient, they must either have a medical education or be under the close supervision of someone who does.

Unfortunately, as more medical products are becoming available for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, and cosmetic procedures outside of a plastic surgeon’s office are becoming more popular, physicians are feeling more comfortable delegating the task of administering these procedures to their non-medical staff. Physicians are driven by the money they save on lower-cost staff, which are much cheaper to employ than qualified medical professionals. Many medical spas are owned and managed by non-medical entrepreneurs that do not understand the need for a well-supervised practice, led by a hands-on medical professional.

Many times in my practice, I have seen a single physician “supervise” multiple medical spas around town, where the physician’s sole job is to sign charts without ever seeing a single patient. These absentee supervising physicians are completely oblivious to what is going on in the clinics that they “supervise” and do not know whether the employees performing the medical procedures are following protocol, properly administering the procedures, and adequately advising the patients of their risks.

In our practice, we have seen injuries that have resulted from a variety of cosmetic procedures including, CoolSculpting, lasers, chemical peels, injections of Botox and injections of fillers, just to name a few.

Treating patients without an appropriate license is not only dangerous, it is illegal. If you have been injured after undergoing a cosmetic procedure in a medical spa, call us today to discuss your case with our experienced attorney at 855-554-6534.

Low Medical Bills Do Not Mean Small Personal Injury

By | Cosmetic Injury, Litigation, Negotiation, Personal Injury, Settlement | No Comments

I have had substantial success in securing high personal injury settlements in cases with low medical bills. But even when the injury is unarguably substantial, it is a challenge to get the defendant or the insurance carrier to see the value of the case. I am also aware that many personal injury attorneys are reluctant to take cases where the economic losses (hospital bills, wage losses, etc.) are low or non-existent. In fact, I have had several clients come to me for help with their serious personal injury cases after the big firms passed on them because of “low medicals.”

The truth of the matter is that how an insurance carrier assesses a personal injury case is completely different from how the jury will evaluate the case. Insurance companies do not seem to look at the factors a jury would normally consider first. Adjusters are robotic in the way they appraise a personal injury case. They first want to know the amount of economic losses. They want to see a track record of the injured person seeking treatment. Then, the adjuster will normally offer an amount of compensation directly related to that amount. In my negotiations with the insurance companies I often hear, “but your client doesn’t have that many medical bills, this is not a six-figure case.”

But what if the injury is bad, and nothing but time can heal it? What if no amount of medical treatment will speed up the healing process?

Unlike the robots at the insurance company, a jury will consider the nature of the injury first. They don’t care if the injured plaintiff  paid the ER  a $100 co-pay or still owes a $70,000 bill. They consider how the injury has impacted the plaintiff’s life and whether the conduct of the defendant was negligent. Normal people do not work off of formulas, they make decisions based on the circumstances and facts surrounding the situation.

There are many serious injuries which simply cannot be resolved with medical treatment. For example, second-degree burns. Any emergency room physician will agree that burn treatment is limited in the second-degree stage. The skin is scorched and the pain is agonizing but the patient will be sent home after being treated with a simple topical cream and some pain killers. This means that the economic losses are low. I won a jury trial on this type of injury and my client was awarded $250,000 for pain and suffering and $593 for her past medical bills, because that is all the treatment cost her.

Another example of a case I successfully resolved was a skin infection case. There, a young woman contracted impetigo after visiting a local med spa to for a chemical peel. The medicals were low, because other than an inexpensive prescription, only time could heal the scars. That botched cosmetic procedure case also had to be aggressively litigated before the parties came to a favorable settlement.

A large number of personal injury cases in which I achieved great results for my clients did not have high medical bills or wage losses. Therefore, low medical bills in a personal injury case does not mean low compensation! But, you do have to be willing to file a lawsuit and get ready for a trial.

Medical Device Injury – Inherent Conflict of Interest

By | Cosmetic Injury, Personal Injury | No Comments

With the demand to stay looking young through minimally invasive cosmetic procedures medical spas (or med spas) are a great alternative to a plastic surgeon. These establishments may provide both medical and non-medical treatments to their clients and can be very lucrative to own. Med spas are expected to provide the most innovative technology to their patients and may offer services such as non-invasive fat reduction, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, laser tattoo removal, and even vaginal rejuvenation. Most of these types of cosmetic procedures are performed with medical devices. As a result, medical device manufacturers pursue med spas to sell their machines and systems to them, promising a huge return on their investment.

Yet, the purchase of a medical device comes with an inherent risk of conflict of interest. First and foremost the owner of the med spa may not necessary be a licensed medical professional. In our experience of representing clients who have been injured while undergoing a cosmetic procedure, most of the clinics were owned by businessmen and women, not licensed doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. This creates a big problem in how the medical services which they provide to their patients are viewed. Business people view the sale of services as money making opportunities. In the case of med spas they just happen to be selling medical services. Therefore, any risk of adverse effects of a cosmetic procedure may be downplayed or simply not disclosed to the patients to ensure that the patient buys the services.

Secondly, regardless of who owns the med spa, medical devices are an expensive investment, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Med spas are pressured to sell enough services to get a return on their investment.  Therefore, any information regarding the risk of a procedure could discourage a patient from undergoing it, thereby leaving the med spa an unable to cover the cost of the device and profit therefrom.

We have represented clients who were  pressured into undergoing a cosmetic procedure after going into a med spa for a simple consultation. The staff selling these medical services are usually not medical professionals but trained sales people. They are trained to highlight and focus on the potential benefits of the procedure and downplay the procedure’s risks of injury.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the risk of suffering a permanent and serious injury is not worth the relatively small potential benefits of the cosmetic procedures.  But only the medical professionals administering these procedures know the truth.

If you have been injured as the result of undergoing a cosmetic procedure with a medical device such as Scarlet SRF, MAGMA, FormaTK, Agnes RF, NeoGen PSR, Viveve, ADVATx, vFit PLUS, CoolSculpting, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Call our attorney today at 407-622-1885 to discuss your case for free.

Why You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

By | Auto Accidents, car accident lawyer, Personal Injury | No Comments

If you were involved in a car accident, you need a qualified personal injury lawyer in order to obtain the fairest compensation for your injuries. Although many insurance adjusters appear to be interested in paying for your medical bills and would like you to believe that they are cooperating with you and care about your car accident injuries, you must remember that they do not want to pay you the highest settlement to which you are legally entitled. In addition to past medical bills, you are entitled to the value of your future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses. Most times, a car accident attorney can successfully obtain a settlement that is many times higher than the insurance adjuster’s initial offer.

Our car accident attorney represents clients from all over Florida and negotiates car accident claims on a daily basis. She takes car accident cases to court if she does not obtain the best settlement fo her clients. She understand the importance of ensuring that persons who were injured in an auto accident have enough money to pay for future rehabilitation and medical expenses. Additionally, she understands that a permanent accident injury will continue to affect a person’s life long after the accident. Good compensation for pain and suffering is just as important to obtain as payment for medical bills.

You should contact a car accident attorney to discuss your specific case and understand your legal rights.

Call us today for a free consultation at 1-855-554-6534.

 

 

"Let Us be Your Law Advocate." Contact Us Today