Legal Question in Personal Injury in Maine

In early May I went to a local piercing/tattoo shop to get new earrings put into my ears. My ears had already been pierced somewhere else years ago, but I needed new rings and they can be difficult to put in. A guy who worked at this chain sold me earrings for $5 but with no receipt, then he put them in my ears. Within a few weeks I developed a terrible infection in one ear, and within days the infection grew to be so big that it blocked off the nerve behind my ear, causing bells palsy. In other words, half my face was paralyzed. I went to 4 different doctors who all agreed that the infection and the palsy was definitely a result of a bacterial infection that was caused when the piercing guy touched my ears (for the record, he WAS wearing gloves, but obviously they were dirty or the earrings themselves were dirty). My face was half paralyzed for about a month. For a few weeks I couldn't work (I work in food service), and the physical damage is still somewhat present since I still can't sleep on that side of my face or put any pressure on it without pain. I also can't drink alcohol without severe consequences, so I don't. My biggest concern is how much my medical bills are. Between the neurologist and EMT there must be over a thousand dollars if not much more. I am a young college student with weak insurance that is covered under my parents, who are poor and struggling enough--they can't afford to pay my medical bills every month for x number of years because of this. I want to sue the piercing shop but I can only assume that they don't give receipts exactly for that reason. I have heard from another person who got an infection from going to the same place. Is there anything I can do to get them to cover my medical bills?

Asked on 10/07/11, 11:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Marchese Marchese Injury Law, P.A.
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Thank you for your inquiry. It sounds like you have a good personal injury claim against the tattoo parlor and the tattooist. Whether or not you brought a claim, without waiting for the resolution of that claim, the tattoo parlor's insurance company may have medical payment coverage available for you. Of course, that presumes that they have liability insurance. If you would like to discuss your claim further, please call me or e-mail to set up an appointment. 207-775-6042; Dave@Marcheseinjurylaw.com

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10/07/11, 12:03 pm

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