Compensation for cosmetic surgery; the dangers of seagull surgeons

by Wright Hassall on October 8, 2014

Pearl Richman was awarded more than £43,000 in compensation after her life was ‘almost ruined’ by a procedure carried out in 2010.

After the operation, the 69-year-old developed necrosis – a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of skin cells – and was left with open flesh wounds.

But despite a court finding in favour of Mrs Richman and awarding compensation, she says she still hasn’t received a penny and the surgeon, from Italy, is still believed to be operating in the UK.

Mrs Richman, from Kenilworth took her civil case to a county court hearing in April, where a judge awarded costs against the doctor for negligence.

Now Mrs Richman is calling for the government to take action over ‘seagull surgeons’ – foreign doctors who fly into the UK and undertake failed procedures before returning home.

The company which organised the £8,000 facelift has now gone into administration. The centre introduced Mrs Richman to an Italian surgeon before she underwent the procedure at a hospital in London.

The company contacted the surgeon in Italy and he arranged an emergency appointment with Mrs Richman.

She said: “When he saw me he took me straight into a treatment room and said it had to be treated like first degree burns. He told me he was so sorry and that it did not happen very often.

“He offered laser treatment which I had and he said he would do everything he could to make it better and put it right. That is the last we have ever heard from him.”

Medical negligence solicitor Jeanette Whyman, of law firm Wright Hassall, is now pursuing the case.

She said: “I am aware of ‘seagull surgeons’ but have not come across the issue to such a horrific degree. He does have insurers but because he has not notified them of the incident, they will not cover him.

“His residency outside of the UK shouldn’t, in theory, make a difference. What it means is we can get a judgment here but it has to be enforced abroad which can be expensive. If there are no assets in the UK, you cannot enforce here and it has to be pursued abroad.”

Wright Hassall
Wright Hassall is a full service law firm which acts for both regional and national clients across a variety of sectors.
Wright Hassall

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