A Reseda woman who alleges a negligently designed laser machine caused her internal burns during a cellulite removal treatment in 2013 testified Tuesday that a nurse practitioner who worked for the device’s manufacturer told her she was a good candidate for the procedure and would be happy with the results.
Adriana Diaz, testifying in the trial of a lawsuit that she and her employer, Dr. Stuart Linder, brought against Cynosure Inc., said the nurse, Cherie Morgan, was the top Cynosure trainer for the Cellulaze laser machine. Diaz said she was in top physical shape at the time and that Morgan assured her that she could start working out again in two weeks.
“It’s going to be super easy, you’re going to be happy,” Diaz said Morgan told her the day of the procedure after personally examining the plaintiff’s cellulite on both thighs.
Diaz said Morgan also told her that she could go back to work the next day. At that point, she had been the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon’s office manager for several years — a position she still holds.
Along with internal burns, Diaz, 38, says she also developed a painful seroma, a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery.
The lawsuit states that Diaz still has pain six years later, including constant throbbing in her legs — with one more painful than the other. Occasional migraines Diaz suffered before the procedure became much more constant afterward, according to her court papers.
Linder testified previously that he followed the steps given him by Cynosure’s representatives regarding the use of the laser machine when he performed the procedure on Diaz in January 2013. He said the company representatives never told him that he should not have used the device on an area where he completed lyposuction on his employee in 2011.
But attorney Karin Curtis, on behalf of Cynosure and the salesman, said the device is safe and that Linder misused it.
In her testimony, Diaz said Cynosure salesman Kristopher Huston boasted through numerous visits and phone calls that the company’s cellulite removal device was the best on the market and that Linder needed one to stay competitive. She said Huston told her the machine was safe and that Linder could charge $6,000 to $8,000 per procedure.
Diaz said she tried to rid herself of the cellulite before the procedure by exercising and eating a healthy diet.
“I did everything I could possibly do,” the Navy veteran said.
Diaz said both Huston and Morgan assured her that the laser machine was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, an assertion she said she found out two to three years later was false. She also said Morgan told her it would be safe to have the laser treatment even though she had a liposuction treatment done by Linder in the same areas. That statement also was untrue, according to Diaz.
The plaintiff said she never would have gone forward with the Cellulaze treatment if she knew the machine was not FDA-approved and that it could harm her to have the procedure done in the same areas as the liposuction.
Diaz said she does not blame Linder for what happened to her because of the procedure.
“He did everything he was told to do (by Cynosure),” Diaz said. “He’s exceptional in what he does.”
Linder, who has made television appearances on such programs as “The Doctors,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The View,” alleges Cynosure misrepresented the safety of the allegedly defective laser device and falsely told him that it was approved by the FDA.
Linder said he bought the laser device in October 2012 after persistent prodding by Huston and that the machine cost about $200,000.
About 200 plastic surgeons work in the same area of Beverly Hills as Linder, the doctor testified previously.
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