Woman awarded R70m for failed facelift

2011-05-23 13:10

London – A British woman who claims a botched facelift left her with a “monster eye” was awarded nearly £6.2 million (R70 million) by the high court today.

Penny Johnson (49) sued her surgeon, Dr Le Roux Fourie after receiving a facelift she described as “experimental” in 2003. Fourie admitted liability but denied the surgery was experimental.

Johnson said in court that the procedure left her with nerve damage to the right side of her face. She complained her face was constantly contracting and that her children had said she now had a “monster eye”.

Johnson, an IT and financial consultant, said she was unable to work and that she lost about £54 million when her business went bankrupt.

The high court made the award for lost earnings, both in the past and the future.

Fazel Fatah, the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, called the award “disproportionate, especially considering the compensation people – including those in the armed forces – receive after losing limbs or requiring care the rest of their lives”.

Most plastic surgery in Britain is provided by the private sector and the industry is largely self-regulated.

Fatah said he hoped the ruling would not set a precedent and stressed that no surgical operation was without risk.

“Understanding the procedure, its likely outcome and possible risks is the key to making an informed choice about whether to have an operation,” he said.

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