Housewife awarded €7,500 damages after teeth whitening procedure caused her lips to break out in painful sores
A 55-year-old Dublin housewife’s lips broke out in weeping sores following a teeth whitening procedure and she had to feed herself drinks through straws, a judge was told today Monday.
Barrister Patrick O’Brien told the Circuit Civil Court that Barbara Kelly, a former bank official, had been treated by Jamie Edward McLoughlin, who trades as Easy Teeth Whitening, Mary’s Mall, Mary Street, Dublin.
Mr O’Brien, who appeared with Spelman Callaghan solicitors, told the court that McLoughlin had failed to respond to Ms Kelly’s damages claim and judgment had been obtained against him in December 2016.
He said the case had now come before the court by way of an assessment of damages only.
Kelly, of St John’s Park East, Clondalkin, Dublin, said she had attended McLoughlin’s studio in July 2012 to have her teeth whitened and over a period of 45 minutes had undergone three blue laser processes to her mouth.
“Straight away I felt there was something wrong when I felt my lips tingling,” she told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.
“I was afterwards told to go home and take paracetamol.”
Ms Kelly said the pain had not eased and the following morning she phoned the studio. Again she had been advised to take more paracetamol and to apply Bonjella and the pain would die down.
“The pain didn’t die down and my lips started to swell and crack and bleed and I developed cold-like weeping sores,” she said.
Ms Kelly said her condition deteriorated and she had been unable to put cold or hot drinks near her lips. She had to feed herself and take drinks with the use of a straw and had difficulty talking.
She told Mr O’Brien her lips became extremely painful and after a number of ulcers had developed in her gums and lips she had attended her GP who diagnosed inflamed and infected blistering of her lips and gums.
He had prescribed antibiotics and steroid cream which reduced the swelling and the infection had cleared up after a week. After four weeks she was able to put cups of tea with extra milk to her lips and drink them.
Ms Kelly said she previously had her teeth whitened in another clinic without any side effects.
Kelly’s legal team had claimed that McLoughlin, by undertaking to apply the teeth whitening processes, had implied a warranty that they were safe and harmless. They also alleged negligence on McLoughlin’s part.
Judge Groarke, who heard that Ms Kelly had fully recovered after 12 weeks, awarded her €7,500 damages with costs against McLoughlin who did not appear in court and was not legally represented.