Visitor Question

Can you sue a manufacturer of a chemical used in a nail salon?

Submitted By: Deborah (Boca Raton, Florida)

I went to the Emergency Room when I suffered chemical burns and other infections after going to a nail salon. This happened after they soaked my hands in acetone to remove my tips. I don’t know if the chemicals were too strong, which would be the liability of the manufacturer, or if the nail salon left my hands in the chemical too long. Regardless, I was severely injured.

All my fingers had chemical burns. My nail developed Onycholysis and excema. I have permanent damage and I can’t feel my fingers. I have been to several doctors in addition to the hospital. All with similar diagnoses. I want to sue the nail salon but I also want to sue the manufacturer of the chemical acetone.

Whose fault is it? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Deborah,

While you have a legitimate injury claim against the nail salon, the claim against the manufacturer of the Acetone product will be more difficult. To have the basis of a defective product injury claim, also called a product liability claim, will require showing much more serious injuries.

Pursuing a defective product claim against the Acetone manufacturer is a complex and protracted undertaking. The injuries you sustained, while serious, are very likely not serious enough for an attorney to agree to represent you in a claim against the manufacturer.

There are some types of injury claims which can be adequately handled by the victim. These are primarily “Soft Tissue” injuries, and can include:

  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Stress injuries
  • Strains
  • Whiplash
  • Minor burns

There are more serious “hard” injuries which always require legal representation. Hard injuries can include:

  • Head trauma
  • Bone fractures
  • 3rd degree burns
  • Permanent scarring
  • Wrongful death

According to the Mayo Clinic, Onychomycosis is a nail fungus and Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) is a condition which makes the  skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically and then subside. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. These injuries don’t rise to the level of a lawsuit requiring legal representation.

If you have permanent numbness in your fingers directly caused by the incident you described, and confirmed in writing by a doctor, then you may have a strong case against the nail salon and product manufacturer. To pursue such a case would require you retain a personal injury attorney.

Learn more here: Types of Product Liability Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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