Do I Have any Legal Recourse if My Tattoo Becomes Infected?
Individuals have the right to sue others for injuries they sustain that were a result of wrongdoing. In Montana, civil actions for money damages can arise due to injury to one's person. Liability can be found against a service provider, such as a tattoo shop, due to a failure to exercise ordinary care. The failure to exercise ordinary care is otherwise known in legal settings as "negligence".
In Montana, tattoo shops are licensed and regulated by state law. The purpose of the law is to protect public health. Further, administrative regulations prescribe various standards to be met by tattoo shops, such as single use of utensils, sterilization of equipment, and cleanliness of the room in which tattoos are applied. Deviation from the standards by employees of the shops resulting in injury to a patron could support a claim of negligence.
An infected tattoo would certainly be an injury to a person, so the questions in a legal proceeding would likely focus on what caused the injury and on what damages were suffered as a result. Medical care expenses, lost wages if unable to work, and pain and suffering are all typical attributes of a physical injury that can be claimed as damages in a lawsuit. Some of the most common causes of tattoo infections are:
- reuse of needles;
- unsanitary conditions in the tattooing area or the tattoo artist personally; and
- ink being tainted with bacteria.
- Hepatitis; and
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)