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Struggling Scarred Model Sues Charitable NYC Hair Stylist for $5M

By George Khoury, Esq. on November 02, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A struggling freelance model filed a lawsuit seeking an exorbitant amount of money over a scratch that occurred during a haircut. The NYC hair stylist, Martino Cartier, gave the model a haircut as part of a public demonstration. The model claims that Cartier made a mistake and scratched her neck because he was rushing, and the scratch has now become a scar.

Despite the fact that a Facebook post from the model talks about how much she loves the haircut, the model is seeking $5 million. The model claims that the scratch has created a scar, and has caused her pain, shock, and mental anguish. Cartier, who is known for providing free celebrity-style wigs to children and women with cancer through the Wigs and Wishes non-profit that he founded, has not commented on the lawsuit.

The Salon Is a Dangerous Place

While Kalinkina's lawsuit may sound like the very reason legislatures push for tort reform, hair salons can be very dangerous places. Apart from the sharp scissors and electric clippers that stylists wield, the risk of chemical burns and other adverse skin reactions is very real. In 2011, another aspiring model filed suit against a NYC salon after having her hair and scalp badly burned because either the stylist left the chemicals in too long, or the chemicals were bad.

Scars and Stars

While the $5 million request for damages may just be too much for the aspiring model, if she really has a scar from a cut she received during the haircut, she may have a meritorious case. When an injury victim is left with a scar, they may have to live with it for life, and, as a result, frequently, the damages for pain and suffering increase. When an actress, model, or someone who relies on their looks for their career, is scarred, then the damages for pain and suffering not only increase, but potentially, the economic damages increase too.

Even though make up can work wonders, if a scar is located in a visible place, a model or actor may have more difficulty getting work, or their work may be valued less. Additionally, they may not be able to work while waiting for a visible cut to heal, or while they wait for a scar revision surgery to heal.

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