Legal first for botched ‘fast food’ boob job clinic
WOMEN who had "one size fits all" boob jobs at a scandal-plagued cosmetic clinic are at the centre of a legal first as the courts embrace Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Lawyer Sally Gleeson, who is running the country's first class action taking on the booming cosmetic surgery industry, has been given the go-ahead from the Supreme Court to begin advertising today but only on social media.
The ads will be targeted at women who want to opt-out of the class action taking on The Cosmetic Institute which has been accused in the lawsuit of being run like a "fast food franchise" allegedly giving the women the same round implants in identical operations regardless of their size or breast shape.
The court ordered the ads run on social media because that is the forum where most of the women heard about the breast surgery at the now-closed TCI clinics in Parramatta, TCI Bondi Junction, Concord Private Hospital, Holroyd Private Hospital and at TCI Southport in Queensland.
"As in the advertising being solely on social media is the first of its kind for a class action," Ms Gleeson, a partner in Turner Freeman, said yesterday.
The case was lodged after two women, Amy Rickhuss, 24, and a 42-year-old, were rushed to hospital after they had to be resuscitated on the operating table at two of the company's clinics at Parramatta and Bondi Junction.
Ms Gleeson said it was important for women who did not want to be part of the class action to contact the firm and opt-out.
They are suing TCI and TCI director and plastic surgeon Eddy Dona who it is alleged was responsible for designing, implementing and supervising the company's approach to breast augmentation surgery and trained the doctors who carried out the operations.
Turner Freeman have alleged in their statement of claim that the "cookie cutter" surgery increased the risk of complications including haemorrhage; excessive tissue trauma; infection; scarring; and local anaesthetic toxicity, leading to cardiac arrest, pneumothorax and death.
TCI and Dr Dona have denied the claims. Dr Dona has filed a defence to the allegations but TCI has not.
TCI is no longer legally represented as it is locked in a separate stoush with its insurers who claim they cannot be responsible.
"We are not deterred by the position of TCI and its insurers, whatever that may be. The class action will proceed regardless," Ms Gleeson said.