MUNCIE, Ind. — Beauty culture salons in Muncie and Anderson have been fined and placed on probation over the alleged use of razor devices and scalpels to remove calluses from customers' feet.
A customer of Nail Art in Anderson developed an infection in his right foot that resulted in the amputation of his right big toe, according to the state board of cosmetology.
A customer of the T-Nail salon at 839 S. Tillotson Ave. in Muncie developed an infection that nearly cost him his life and his leg, a lawsuit alleges.
Other nail salons around the state facing complaints of using credo blades, aka pedicure razors, include Lovely Nails, Evansville, and Lovely Nails, Carmel, which recently paid a $250 fine. State authorities say Lovely Nails in Carmel fully cooperated and took immediate corrective action. The complaint against the Evansville salon remains pending.
Beauty salons are prohibited by Indiana law from using razor devices to shave, reduce or remove calluses because they can cause bleeding, potential infections and remove healthy skin as well as dead skin.
On March 30, 2015, Kenneth Jackey received a pedicure at Nail Art in Anderson.
After his feet were soaked in warm water, Nail Art's Khanh Bui used what Jackey described as a scalpel to cut away heavily callused skin on his right foot, which he compared to "peeling a potato or an apple."
At one point, Bui cut too deeply into the skin, causing Jackey to wince in pain and Bui to stop cutting, according to the cosmetology board. After that, she used only a file on his left foot, which was lightly callused.
After the pedicure, Jackey developed an infection in his right foot at the site of the callus, resulting in the amputation of his right big toe.
Two regular customers of the salon testified that they had never seen any scalpels in the salon, nor had any been used on their feet. In addition, Bui denied using a scalpel on Jackey or any other customer. Dien Bui, owner of the salon, denied that there were any scalpels in the salon for use in pedicures.
However, the cosmetology board found Jackey's testimony to be credible.
"Weighing the testimony of Mr. Jackey and other evidence presented, it is more likely than not that respondent Khanh Bui used a scalpel to remove callused skin from Mr. Jackey's right foot," the board ruled.
In addition to being placed on indefinite probation, Khanh Bui was fined $2,000, Dien Bui was fined $1,000, and Nail Art was fined $1,000.
T-Nail, care of Tim Tai Vo, also has been placed on indefinite probation and fined $750, for failing a state inspection on March 19, 2014. An inspector had cited T-Nail for maintaining a razor device, maintaining waxing equipment within the manicuring service area, and employing two unlicensed workers.
T-Nail is continuing to vigorously defend an unrelated lawsuit in Delaware County brought by Muncie resident Bruce Walters, who was hospitalized for three weeks and underwent five surgeries after getting a pedicure at T-Nail on June, 23, 2013.
The lawsuit claims "medical providers universally determined" that the infection started in his right great toe that was gouged during a pedicure by an unsanitary instrument. The pedicure nearly cost Walters his life and his leg, the lawsuit claims.
T-Nail denies gouging Watlers' toe, and also denies allegations that it was negligent, that it used an unsanitary instrument, and that it injured the man. The parties have agreed on a mediator but the dispute remains scheduled for a five-day trial starting Dec. 4.
Contact Seth Slabaugh at (765) 213-5834.