In 2012 a woman had her beautician inject her with a fat reducing substance. The result? Lasting disfiguration and substantial damage claims.

With the rise of Instagram, Facebook and social networks in general it feels like the importance of appearance is at an all-time high and people go to extreme lengths for that perfect look. Of course, there is no harm in taking time to choose the perfect filter for the selfie in front of the Grand Canyon, even if it is not quite professional quality. However, some undertakings should be considered more carefully if - and especially by whom - they should be done. Trying a new haircut at a new hairdresser may already feel like Forest Gump's box of chocolate where you never know what you going to get, but having an unqualified person giving you injections of a non-permitted substance may be worth thinking about twice – or even thrice. This may sound far-fetched, but in fact it happened in Austria in August 2012, when a woman had her beautician inject her thighs with a fat reducer which left her with inflamed swellings, scars and a 3 cm hole in her thigh. In addition, she also suffered mentally from the disfiguration which finally led to damage claims of EUR 41.540. 

While the costumer was ex-ante informed that beauticians in general are not allowed to give injections and that there was a risk of bruising and pain, she was not made aware that the substance was illegal in Austria and could lead to lasting physical damage.

Taking all this into account, the Austrian Supreme Court awarded only two thirds of the claim to the customer as the victim was seen as partially liable. A customer may still be expected to know of the risks of a medical intervention performed by any other than a doctor, the court stated in its decision of 27 September 2017.