The unthinkable has happened again. In August, Diana Mears filed a wrongful death suit against a Mountain View, Calif., nail salon alleging that her daughter, Jessica, died as the result of a bac-terial infection she contracted during a 2004 pedicure. (You may recall that in February, a Texas woman died as a result of a Staph infection that was alleged to have been contracted during a pedicure.)
According to a CBS 5 report, Mears claims that her daughter — who suffered from the chronic immune deficiency disease lupus — developed a Mycobacterium fortuitum infection that grew into a 4” x 6” lesion on her left calf after she received a pedicure at Top Hair and Nails Salon in November 2004. Mears’ attorney said the infection never completely healed and caused her a lot of pain until her death on June 20 of this year.
Mycobacterium fortuitum is the organism associated with the Watsonville outbreak in 2000.
A state board inspection conducted after the suit was filed resulted in 11 citations ranging from improper disinfection to dirty foot spa chairs and soiled instruments. In addition, the board is looking into whether the salon was licensed when the woman received her pedicure in 2004.
Top Hair and Nail Salon’s owners have vehemently denied that their salon is unsanitary or that it contributed to the death of Jessica Mears. They told the Mountain View Voice they believe it was the lupus, not the bacterial infection, that lead to her death. She had been a customer at the salon for nearly 10 years, and the owners claims she was sick for the duration of this time.