Claiming damages for not being able to breastfeed my baby?
(NYC, NY, USA)
I was getting my eyebrows done at a cheap salon in New York. My baby was in the stroller next to me. The stylist suddenly took out some implement and began using it on my eyebrows. I stopped her to have a close look and realized it was a razor (it was not disposable and it wasn't one in which the blade can be changed).
I was taken aback as this was the first time I had seen a razor being used on eyebrows, and since its handle looked different from any other razor I've ever seen, I was not able to stop her in time. She had already caused a nick.
The nick wasn't big or painful enough to go to the doctor but upon being asked, the stylist told me they change this razor every couple of days and don't sterilize or wash it after each customer. I was devastated, not so much by the fact that I could get some disease but because I breastfeed my one year old baby since he has a severe cows milk allergy.
Since infections pass through breast milk, after hours of agonized thinking I decided to stop breastfeeding my child. A couple of days have passed and both my baby and I are traumatized by the sudden change in his diet, our time together, and the health benefits of milk which he cannot get since he is allergic to cows milk and milk formulas.
I really need your perspective on whether I have a case, since I do not have a big cut or ER visits to show, but the agony and trauma I am still feeling is far more severe than any pain I would have physically felt had I got a big cut from a sterilized or disposable razor. Can I do anything about this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Claiming damages for not being able to breastfeed my baby?":
Pallavi (NYC, NY, USA):
To have the basis of a personal injury claim you will need documentation of injuries sustained by you and/or your baby. That documentation can be in the form of a doctor’s medical narrative confirming you and/or your baby sustained an infection, or other transferable condition due to the nick in your skin produced by a non sterile razor.
Alternately, hard documentation can be in the form of emergency room visits confirming you and/or your baby have suffered some type of infection or infectious disease as a direct and proximate result of an unsterile (dirty) razor.
While no one would doubt your agony and trauma produced by the negligence of the technician, the agony and trauma, in and of themselves are probably not recoverable damages unless they accompany medical bills and records, medical confirmation of illness, etc.
Before considering any legal action, be sure to seek medical care for you and your baby. If the tests and/or treatment do not show any form of infection or infectious disease, or other medical malady caused by the razor, then you would not have a real basis for a viable personal injury claim.
If, in the unfortunate event you and/or your baby have sustained an injury in the form of infection, infectious disease, or other identifiable medical malady, then you likely have the basis of a personal injury claim. If so, seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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