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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Can a tattoo shop be sued for messing up initials that the

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Can a tattoo shop be sued for messing up initials that the client looked at and verified then after the fact they were incorrect, I corrected the mistake and actually did more work and shading and color that the client was intending to come back and get, the tattoo was also a contract tattoo through a business so they didn't pay anything and I put the correct initials and said come back when it's healed and we will deck it out free of charge, AND sent him home with free aftercare ointment, they are now trying to sue for personal injury, the customer also signed a waiver which included exemption of all artists and the shop of any liability concerning the tattoo. Does this person really have a case? My boss is handling things but I'm wondering bc it has me spooked as an artist. Ty!
Hi Ty,

Thanks for your question.

I want to first start out to make sure you understand that the customer (and anyone else) always has a right to file a suit, even if it is a bogus lawsuit. So the question really is, does the customer have a valid lawsuit (i.e., can the customer win).

The short answer is that this it will be your word against the customer's word. If you have written evidence that the customer verified the tattoo (by signing off on it), that will bolster your case. If not, then it will come down to who the jury believes (you or the customer).

The fact that the customer signed a waiver of liability may be used to dismiss the case. However, liability waivers are not always full proof and the customer may be able to get around it through legal argument.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I guess I feel like this is kind of general answer and I got more information from googling lawyer's experiences with this kind of thing amd most, like 99% call these frivolous lawsuits bc they usually lead nowhere... I guess I was just looking for a little more I don't know, detail?

Detail on what? You asked can he sue.

Yes he can sue. If the customer asked for a tattoo that said XYZ, but instead you tattooed him with ZXY, then this can be sued upon, regardless of a waiver.

If the customer approved XYZ and you gave him XYZ, but then he comes back later and complains that is not what he wanted and is going to sue, it is his word against your unless you have documentary proof that will show that he is lying. You would mostly likely win this suit, as they Plaintiff has the burden of proof to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that what he is saying is true and that you were negligent and tattoo'd him incorrectly and not pursuant to his order. If it's your word against his, then most likely you win.

What other information can I give you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I also forgot to mention this is a civil suit, so a jury won't be involved. Also though I didn't make my first statement totally correct in wording I am a college graduate so I know anyone can sue for anything, yes what I meant was do they have a winning case. Also the letter the lawyer in question sent said to 'forward this to our insurance company for further correspondence with his office', it didn't name me or my boss personally, I guess I just feel like I'm smelling an ambulance chaser or am I wrong? The letter was 2 paragraphs, very short, said the "injury" occured on or around May 14th so the client couldn't even provide a specific date. And it's my boss and I's word because he witnessed the guy say the initials out loud then look at them and say "yeah that's good" bc it was a certain script we were writing them in.

Thanks for your response.

Any lawsuit can be a jury trial if one of the parties demands a jury.

Demand letters from lawyers do typically ask that they be forwarded to the business' insurance company, as that is who would pay any judgment or settlement in the case. The vaguer the letter, the weaker the case.

Is this a lawyer who is trying to be vague and simply force a quick low dollar settlement? Most likely. It's not a very strong case by any stretch of the imagination.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, and yes I know that about a jury but the town I live in I know a judge wouldn't waste tax payer money or peoples time with a jury, so I guess they would probably throw out the case before going that far. The letter also included a photo of the tattoo which simply showed a tattoo that looked fine. Because everything was fixed, so I don't think that helped their case any. The letter said he sustained the 'injury', though I know that's a legal term used in many forms our shop is one of the cleanest in town according to the health department so this is purely about the first mistake, the client is also a known drug user and I worry he just got messed up and decided this lawsuit crap was a good idea. As far as we knew or could tell he was not on anything wheni tattooed him we bounce anyone we think is under the influence of anything but with the 'legal synthetic' crap people can hide things well. But he was alert, talkative and upon leaving and with my boss as a witnessshook my hand and said "thank you and don't worry it's all good, do not beat yourself up"

That's not how it works.

If a suit is filed against the tattoo business, the only way to have the suit thrown out is for the tattoo shop to appear in court and file a motion. The court does not throw things out on its own.

Further, a judge does not get to decide whether or not there will be a jury trial. Jury trials are a constitutional guarantee.

So, in the end, if he ends up suing, you will simply have to show up and defend the case.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You're rather condescending, no offense. And you didn't address half of what was in my response. And actually I know because it's happened here that cases have been thrown out when the judge knew there was no basis for the claim. Sorry I've tried to be professional and respectful and twice now you've come off rude and condescending. If not intended I under but I'm just looking for information, not correction on semantics or a response that seems like you feel I'm wasting your time.

I apologize. I don't mean to be condescending. I do not believe you are being clear with your question. If you want to continue, let me know exactly what your question is and I'll be happy to answer it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry I thought I did by asking questions regarding the photo that was sent claiming injuries and it shows none.

I don't mean to argue with you.

Are you asking whether the photograph hurts their case when it does not show any injury?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes because it says in the letter 'see enclosed photo" like that's proof and it shows nothing visibly wrong.

From what I understand, the customer is going to claim that the personal injury was that you put the wrong tattoo on him. So the picture is a picture of that tattoo.

I'm confused from what you were saying earlier. You started by saying that you drew out the proposed tattoo and then you showed it to the customer. The customer then approved the proposal. You then made that exact tattoo onto the customer. However, at some point, something happened for the customer to tell you as he was leaving "thank you and don't worry it's all good, do not beat yourself up".

Why would he tell you this if you did the exact tattoo that he approved?

I guess I'm lost on what happened here exactly.