Once upon a time, before influencers, there were supermodels. Striking Canadian beauty Linda Evangelista graced the cover of more than 700 magazine covers, was a favorite at runway shows, and may have been responsible for thousands of copycat haircuts when she chopped off her locks. She has rarely been spotted in the past five years, and the occasional tabloid photo is usually accompanied by a snarky comment about how the model (who once bragged of not waking up for less than $10,000 a day) is now nearly unrecognizable.
But now Evangelista, now 56, has stepped back into the spotlight by filing a lawsuit in a New York federal court against Zeltiq Aesthetics (owned by Allergan) for negligence, misleading advertising, and alleging that the company failed to warn customers of the possible side effects.
Evangelista issued a public statement citing that she’s been out of the public eye for years because she is both disfigured and unrecognizable while her supermodel peers have continued to thrive. The reason? A rare side effect called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH). The side effect came from numerous “CoolSculpting” treatments, a fat reducing method popular among celebrities. Evangelista claims she was not made aware of the risk and has had to undergo two corrective cosmetic surgeries, both of which were unsuccessful.
Evangelista filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in New York federal court against Zeltiq for negligence, misleading advertising and alleging that the company failed to warn customers of the possible side effects. (Reuters)
Zeltiq’s website cites the risks involved, including the rare side effect of PAH. What has yet to be confirmed is whether this information was posted historically, and whether Evangelista signed a waiver acknowledging risk prior to her treatment. Although Evangelista may be the most high profile litigant, she is not the first. In 2017, a New York City woman suffered scarring as well as third-degree burns after a CoolSculpt procedure on her abdomen. Her still-pending suit against Allergan alleged that the company “underreported, underestimated and downplayed the serious danger of its CoolSculpting Device.”
As a global leader in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Allergan has been around the block before with the law, having mixed legal outcomes, in particular for botox lawsuits.
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