Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court that Laura Goodwin, aged 32, of Cul Ronain Park, Ballivor, as a first-time user of a sunbed, had not been given adequate guidance in relation to the safe usage of the sunbed.
The civil servant sued Aneta Nowak and Pawel Koldras, who trade as Annette Salon Fryzierski, Castle Gate, Lord Edward St, Dublin, on the grounds they had been negligent in allowing her to use the bed for an unsafe length of time and at an unsafe power setting.
Pat O’Brien, counsel for Ms Goodwin, told the court that liability had been conceded and he was asking for an assessment of damages.
Ms Goodwin said that in Aug 2010 she had used the lie-down sunbed at the direction of the defendants. She had told them it was her first time and had been sold a promotional offer of 100 minutes sunbed usage for €80.
She had told them she was not sure how long she should use the sunbed and the defendants had set the automatic timer for 10 minutes.
About two hours after using it she had become aware of a stinging sensation on her body and she had to leave work early and go home. She was unable to sleep that night and the following day attended her GP who diagnosed she had suffered first-degree burns over her body. She was prescribed anti-inflammatory Ponstan and steroid creams.
She had been unable to walk, drive, or sleep comfortably and had to take time off work, having to take twice daily salt baths. She had been referred to the burns unit of St James’ Hospital, Dublin, where she was assessed to have first-degree burns on 80% of her body.
Ms Goodwin claimed she was unable to wear clothing comfortably and had to stay at home wearing a loose dressing gown. About a fortnight after the tanning session her skin had started to peel and flake. She had since made a good recovery.
Judge Linnane awarded her €17,500 damages and costs.