“The spa services market, which includes massage services, beauty and grooming, and physical fitness, is expected to grow to over 133 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.” Businesses included in the larger “umbrella of the spa market” are hotel spas, massage parlors, and day spas. (2) 

The majority of consumers regularly visit nail salons with tanning beds and facilities offering swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas. You also get massages and facials, without considering the risks involved.

Common Types of Day Spa Accidents

At a day spa, you face the risk of injury for a number of different types of accidents. This often focuses on activities where cleanliness — especially for if you have a chronic health condition — is concerned.

The most common types of day spa accidents include:

  • Burns — Water in hot tubs or pedicure stations can scald when temperatures are not correctly maintained. Likewise, chemicals used to kill bacteria or germs can burn your skin when not in the proper range. Also, the chemicals used in cosmetics, peels, or glues can burn you, if not used correctly.
  • Cuts — A simple cut or aggressive trim of a callus or nail can lead to infections, such as cellulitis. (3) This is a higher risk if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, and a weakened immune system. 
  • Fractures — Massages can result in fractures, especially of the ribs, neck, or back. “When it comes to massage, experts say that the degree of risk involved depends on the type of touch applied.” (4)
  • Infections — Poor water quality is one of the most frequent violations detected by spa inspectors. Water quality is a primary avenue for the spread of infections. For example, pseudomonas aeruginosa causes hot tub rash. This is an itchy, bumpy rash with pus-filled blisters around hair follicles. (5) 
  • Slips and falls — “Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits” each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). (6) Unsuitable floor surfaces frequently lead to slips, trips, and falls. Spas where floors are wet or uneven can increase your chances of falling.

Causes of Day Spa Accidents

The causes of day spa accidents vary based on location, type of facility, and the treatment or activity involved. The most frequent causes of day spa accidents include:

  • Inadequate training — Cosmetologists and massage therapists should have formal training to practice safely. In New York, a license is required. 
  • Inexperienced staff — Inexperienced staff members may cause harm unintentionally because they lack knowledge. Inexperienced staff should always work with more experienced staff who can provide guidance and instruction.
  • Unsafe equipment — A well-maintained facility and equipment are required for operators of spas in most states. Regular inspections by state health departments may be conducted to ensure public health and safety.
  • Negligence — There are many forms negligence can take in a spa. Negligence can arise out of inattentiveness, lack of training or experience, poorly maintained equipment or facilities, improper procedures, or even out of indifference.

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How to Prevent Spa Accidents

Many people believe they benefit from spa treatments. With few exceptions, day spa accidents are preventable. 

To help consumers minimize the risks of spa accidents, the New York Department of State has the following tips for customers of beauty salons and spas: (7)

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This includes asking how long an employee has worked at the spa or how many years of experience they have performing this personal service.
  • Check licenses. “A provider must be licensed in the services that they are performing. All personal services offered in New York State require that the individual offering these services have the proper training and be licensed to offer that particular service to the consumer.” (8)
  • Massage services require a valid massage therapy license from the New York State Education Department. In New York, some services require separate licenses above and beyond the general license. Back massage, deep tissue massage, foot massage, shoulder massage, and reflexology require additional licenses. 
  • Check to see the facility appears clean and well-maintained, and the equipment looks to be in good repair. This includes flooring, pools, hot tubs, tanning beds, saunas, and nail and pedicure stations. Anything coming into direct contact with your bare skin falls into this category.
  • The facility has good lighting.
  • There is hot and cold running water, working toilet facilities, and lids for trash receptacles.
  • Staff members adhere to good hygiene — washing hands before providing services and between services for each separate client. 
  • Tables and beds are sanitized between each client’s use.
  • All tools are cleaned after every use. Instruments are disinfected for at least 10 minutes with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved hospital grade disinfectant. Cuticle removers, clippers, combs, and scissors should be soaked in a disinfectant. 
  • “Porous manicuring and waxing implements such as emery boards, block buffers, and waxing sticks and other implements that cannot be disinfected shall not be used for more than one person.” (9)
  • Gloves are worn when providing waxing or extraction services.
  • Disposable products are never used for multiple people. This includes cotton balls, sponge applicators, paper towels, and table coverings.
  • People with immune systems seriously compromised by a health condition — such as cancer or diabetes — should bring your own supplies for use during your treatment. (10)

Even if you have taken precautions, if you suffer a serious injury from a day spa accident, consider taking legal action.

For a free case evaluation and more information about your legal options for your day spa accident, please contact us today.

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Filing a Lawsuit for Day Spa Accidents

After a day spa accident, you need to hire an attorney. Your attorney reviews your case, advises you on your legal options, investigates your claims, and files a lawsuit on your behalf. As necessary, your lawyers represents you in court or negotiates a settlement.

To file a day spa lawsuit, your attorney submits the necessary paperwork to the court clerk in the appropriate county. In New York, a lawsuit must be filed in the county where you or the company you are suing lives, works, or conducts business. It can also be filed in the county where the accident occurred. (11) You must file your claim within three years from the date of the accident, due to New York’s statute of limitations. (12)

After the paperwork has been filed, the court clerk issues a summons to the company being sued. The company is called the defendant. A defendant has approximately 20 days to respond. Once the defendant has responded to the summons, a court date is set. (13)

Compensation Options for Day Spa Accident Lawsuits

Day spa accident lawsuits hopefully result in you getting monetary compensation awards. This compensation may include:

  • Lost wages.
  • Medical bills.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Property damage to personal belongings.
  • Punitive damages.

How W&L Can Help

The best possible outcome for your case depends upon your choice of an attorney. Weitz & Luxenberg is a reputable firm and has been in the personal injury litigation practice for almost 40 years. 

Our attorneys are both experienced and compassionate. We take pride in our accomplishments on behalf of our clients and fight to get you the best possible outcome for your case. 

Here is a glimpse of our successes: