Skip to content

Five Botched Plastic Surgeries

Every year, over 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgeries, from Botox and breast implants to laser hair removal, are conducted in the United States alone. Although the industry is expanding quite rapidly, many medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed for botched operations which have led to severe allergic reactions, infections, blood clots, scars, and even fatalities.

  • $1.1 million awarded to disfigured breast cancer survivor

A 49 year-old woman of Nassau County, New York, overcame breast cancer following a lumpectomy and chemo/radiation and hoped to get back the symmetry of her breasts. She found a plastic surgeon to perform breast-augmentation, but the surgeon misled her regarding the risk of complications from the surgery, claiming it was one to two percent; in reality, his own forms and statistics warned of a risk as high as twenty percent and, in this particular case – due to the woman’s prior radiation treatments – even as high as fifty percent. After the original and two subsequent surgeries, the woman suffered a “grossly deformed left breast, a gaping wound under the left breast, and significant asymmetry” and was left with permanent “scarring and deformities.”

In her trial, which took place in 2005, the jury awarded her $1.1 million for lost earnings, medical expenses, and past and future pain and suffering. (Klein v. South Shore Cosmetic Surgeons P.C. Et Al. case no. 22 NY. J.V.R.A. 6:C4, Nassau County, New York Supreme Court)

  • $2.5 million for patient of “Dr. Lips”

Dr. Ricardo Samitier – who calls himself “Dr. Lips” – saw Tamara Matatoff of Miami, Florida, for a tummy-tuck and thigh-trim surgery. He promised her the operation would take 60-90 minutes and she would be fully healed within a month; it actually took five hours, Matatoff bled profusely, and she couldn’t stand up straight for an entire year following the operation.

During her trial, Samitier was already in jail for pending criminal action involving a patient of his who underwent liposuction and penis-enlargement surgery and ended up bleeding to death during the operation; Samitier was later convicted of manslaughter and given a five-year prison sentence.

Matatoff was later awarded $2.37 million for her case, and her husband was awarded $125,000 for loss of consortium. (Tamara Matatoff & Amnon Matatoff v. Dr. Ricardo Samitier, Jr. and Medical Surgical Centers of America, INC., Case no. 94 FJVR 11-34, Miami-Dade County Florida Circuit Court) (Samitier v. State, Case No. 94-2568, Florida Third District Court of Appeals)

  • $40 million for wrongful death in liposuction operation

Joel Cunningham of New York City died during an abdominal liposuction procedure due to “negligent administration of anesthesia;” he was 33 years old. His autopsy revealed “toxic levels of lidocaine” and the medical examiner determined that complications of both local and general anesthesia caused his death.

Due to dead batteries in a laryngoscope, the anesthesiologist and surgeon were delayed in their re-intubation and resuscitation efforts when Cunningham’s blood pressure and heart rate dropped during the operation. At the time, the anesthesiologist was under professional probation due to alcohol/substance abuse and required the presence of a supervisor while applying anesthesia, but no supervisor was present that day. The same anesthesiologist also forged the signature of a surgeon (who was also absent) in the records for Cunningham’s operation.

The center at which Cunningham died also had no on-staff medical director, no medical malpractice insurance, and no verification of physicians’ credentials. “The jury awarded $40 million in punitive damages against the owners of the center” and “$363,000 in compensatory damages against the defendant surgeon and anesthesiologist” in 2003; the verdict was reduced to $5 million the following year. (Brown v. Lafontaine-Rish Medical Associates Case No. 20 NY. J.V.R.A. 7:C1, Bronx County, New York Supreme Court)

  • $60 million initial verdict for botched thigh-lift surgery

Allison Yusefa Hugh from Bronx County, New York, lost over 200 lbs. following gastric bypass surgery and later underwent a thigh-lift surgery to remove excess skin on her legs. Far too much skin was removed during the operation, which caused tension in the groin and a pulling-open of the vagina, resulting in a serious wound and vaginal deformity. Hugh also alleged that the surgeon neglected to inform her of such potential risks.

In her 2009 trial, the jury awarded her $60 million for past and future pain and suffering. In two subsequent re-trials, the verdict was reduced to $4 million and then to $600,000 in 2011, during the final trial. (Hugh v. Ofodile M.D. Case no. 20473/05, Bronx County, New York Supreme Court)

  • Initial $825 million following thirteen corrective surgeries

Christy Aills (Plantation, Florida) underwent a breast implant and breast lift in the same procedure in 2003. The surgeon allegedly failed to inform Aills of the inherent risk of performing both operations together (during the same course of time), and she suffered traumatic injuries following the procedure. A total of thirteen additional surgeries would be necessary to correct the harm done.

In 2006, a jury awarded her an incredible $825 million, but this was reduced to $2 million in a re-trial in 2010. (Aills v. Boemi Case no. 04-003135CA, Lee County, Florida Circuit Court)

Submitted Comments

No Comments submitted yet. Sharing your story will help others!

We are listening

We will respond to you at lightning speed. All of your information will be kept confidential.

Form successfully submitted!