Chinese Made Curling Iron Electrocutes Hair Stylist, Her Attorney Demands that ‘Helen of Troy’ Recall Product

Michigan Woman Struggles With Living After Brain Damage and Debilitating Injuries Caused by Curling Iron

MONROE, MICHIGAN — A professional hair stylist is wheelchair-bound and suffering from brain damage after being electrocuted by a faulty curling iron.

Rita Perna-Allor of Monroe was working for Blue Water Spa Salon in Monroe on January 18, 2007, when the Hot Tools Curling Iron she was holding shorted out. (MODEL # 1130)

Upon arriving at the burn center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Toledo, Perna-Allor could not remember her address or phone number and experienced difficulty speaking. Her hand was covered with dark spots, fat liquefied in her arm and gangrene set in within two weeks.

Because of the permanent and debilitating injuries, Perna-Allor is suing Helen of Troy, the manufacturer of the faulty curling iron, for failure to have an adequate handle and other safety features; and Blue Water Spa and Salon of Monroe, Michigan, for not having properly grounded (G.F.I.) outlets. She is being represented by Terry Cochran of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., of Livonia, Michigan.

“Both are being charged with negligence because the manufacturer failed to equip the curling iron with a proper handle and safety features and because the salon did not install Ground Fault Interrupters (G.F.I.) and take other action that could have prevented this tragedy from occurring,” explains Cochran.

Perna-Allor had major surgery to increase blood flow but still suffers from excruciating pain. She has brain damage, must use a wheelchair, has lost a filling, is incontinent from nerve damage and some days can hardly talk.

Perna-Allor’s specific injuries include severe electrical shock to her right fingers, hand, wrist and arm including the vascular and nervous system of her entire body.

After the injury, Perna-Allor’s husband took several months off work, from February to June, as a Ford production worker to help his wife.

Doctors have been unable to come up with a definite plan of treatment thus far. A visiting nurse comes twice a week but the physical therapist does not want to work with Perna-Allor for fear of hurting her more.

As an independent contractor, Perna-Allor is not eligible for worker’s compensation. Her annual income, as a stylist and international platform artist, has fallen from $100,000 to $20,000 annually. As a platform artist, Perna-Allor would be paid to demonstrate hair styling on stage all over the country.

Besides receiving justice for lost income and permanent damage, Perna-Allor hopes that the faulty curling irons will be recalled and that Michigan electrical codes be upgraded. So far, Conair, Revlon, and Wahl Clipper Corp. have conducted national recalls of their curling irons because of dangers of electrical shock.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.