Burns from Tanning Booth

Our client, a 30-year-old attorney went to a tanning facility. She entered a standup tanning booth and began tanning, but after a few minutes, she felt it was getting too hot and attempted to exit the booth early. However, the booth door was stuck when she tried to open it, so she had to exert more force on the door to push it open. As a result, she made contact with the tanning bulbs and sustained multiple burns. She suffered three burns on her back (including a 3rd-degree burn on the center midline of her back), two 2nd degree burns on her shoulder, and one burn on her arm. Initial treatment consisted of topical ointments, debridement procedures, and one steroid injection, but she eventually required excision of the most severe full-thickness burn on her back as well as surgical removal of a severely dysplastic nevus within the burn site. She was left with permanent scars on her back from the burns and surgery, and she has an increased risk of developing future melanoma, requiring full-body scans and removal of all potentially abnormal nevi. The tanning booth door became stuck due to the defendant’s improper installation of the tanning booth and inadequate installation of protective grating over the tanning bulbs, which is supposed to prevent contact with the ultraviolet bulbs. Illinois law requires a physical barrier overall tanning bulbs to protect consumers from contacting the ultraviolet lamps. The defendant tried to argue that our client waived any claim for injury when she signed a consent and release form at the salon, but the owner admitted on cross-exam that the release did not apply to the injuries in this incident and such injuries were not contemplated by either party prior to signing the release; therefore, this argument was withdrawn from consideration by the jury.

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