By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Victims of lip injections gone wrong have filed a complaint at the state level claiming esthetician Abir Ayyad gave them the injections at European Tanning Club & Hair Design, 26140 Ford Road — now Sun City Tanning & Hair in 2016.
According to WXYZ Channel 7, the alleged victims plan to file a criminal suit as well.
Sue, of Dearborn, is one of the three victims who took a deal in September 2016 to have her lips injected for half the price of what a plastic surgeon charges for the injections in.
She had the injection done at European Tanning Club & Hair Design after responding to an advertisement. The ad was for Juvederm, non-silicone filler lip injections at the salon which was offered by an in-house esthetician who went by the name Abby.
In 2017, Sue told her story to WXYZ in which she stated, “They swell up, canker sores … and it’s just bad. It’s just something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. My lips don’t feel right, and I had like a cut.”
The esthetician told Sue that her reaction to the injection was normal, but she consulted plastic surgeon Dr. Ayoub Sayeg, who conducted tests. An MRI revealed that silicon was injected into Sue’s lips which is not approved for use in augmenting body tissues including lips.
“This stuff doesn’t come out,” Sayeg said. “You have to actually excise it. It means I have to take out muscle and tissue. It becomes a major problem.”
In a Jan. 8 statement from Ayyad’s attorney, Henry Sandweiss, listed five complainants, with one complainant dismissing her claims against all of the defendants and the other four complainants dismissing their claims against all defendants expect Ayyad.
Sue and two of her family members were named by first name only on the complaint and the names of the other two complainants were redacted. Three of the four complainants who didn’t drop their claims are Sue and the two family members.
Sandweiss wrote that Ayyad was licensed as an esthetician in 2004; operated a skin care clinic in Dr. Tayfur Ayalp’s office from March 2011 to 2015 under a supervisory agreement; performed various non-invasive skin care treatments with the utmost professionalism and care; and was supervised directly by Ayalp while she performed procedures, and that Ayalp found Ayyad became proficient in injection techniques along with finding her competent and capable of employing her skills in any office under a physician’s supervision.
Ayalp also indicated Ayyad attended seminars and workshops for dermal fillers and that he trained her as to how to inject them, the statement read. Ayyad left Ayalp’s office to rent space at European Tanning Club & Hair Design believing her 2011 agreement was still valid and that she could consult with him by phone, email or text message.
She purchased Juvederm filler from Ayalp’s office manager.
The three complainants visited the salon then filled out a detailed medical history and signed informed consent forms as to the injection after being made aware of some of the risks, the Jan. 8 statement read.
“Abby injected Juvederm into the faces and or lips of all three of these women who appeared to be quite satisfied,” Sandweiss wrote. “Sometime thereafter, Sue carried on and bad-mouthed Abby, claiming injury from an unapproved product containing silicone which she later claimed was found not only in her lips, but on her mother’s face also. Despite this false claim, Abby agreed to refund the plaintiff’s money, which offer was summarily rejected.”
Sue then filed a complaint against Abby and demanded $20,000 from her or threatened to go public on WXYZ, which she ultimately did. Later in a phone call, Sue demanded $5,000 from Abby. The Sam Bernstein Law Firm was retained by Sue, but they later withdrew from the case which is being handled by a different law firm.
The Jan. 8 statement said that during their depositions, the women admitted to having had previous injections of product to their faces, and in addition, over the past five years, Sue had numerous visits with plastic surgeons, allergists and dermatologists for more filler. Sue also had plastic surgery enhancement of other body parts with the other two women and had additional filler injections but to a lesser extent, the statement read.
Sandweiss said that whatever was claimed to be found in the complainants’ lips or faces was not in any way related to Ayyad’s injection of Juvederm, an FDA-approved product, one sold to her by Ayalp.
Sue told WXYZ that Ayyad claimed she was being overseen by Ayalp but the state and a court ultimately found the claim to be untrue, and Ayalp was dismissed on that count. Ayyad was put on six months probation and fined $2,000 for operating without medical supervision.
Ayalp was dismissed from the suit filed by the three complainants after he was found to not have any direct connection to the injections at European Tanning Club & Hair Design.
Sue told Channel 7 this month she still suffers the side effects of the lip injections, including a severe infection. Sue said that in July she had a bubble that started spreading and that the sore opened on her face, cheek and below her lip.
She said the infection is a result of injections she received three years ago and that she has already had one surgery with another set for later this month.
In 2017, Sue claimed that when she had an MRI the results came back showing silicon had been injected into her lips.
The statement by Sandweiss said the MRI findings by the women’s dermatologists and plastic surgeons were nothing but “unsubstantiated nonsense.”
“None of these women had a needle biopsy performed nor was any other type of lab analysis performed and their expert witness was essentially unmasked as a charlatan who had admitted that he was never a medical director of anything,
“The presence of silicone was not confirmed by any medical practitioner. More importantly, a medical report accompanying the MRI scan confirming the presence of silicone has never been introduced by any of the plaintiffs because it apparently doesn’t exist.”
At the time of the 2017 story, management of the European Tanning Club & Hair Design gave a statement regarding the lip injection claims and refund. In addition to Ayyad’s fine, the salon was also fined as a result of the complaint.
In 2020, former owner Mohammed Saad told WXYZ that European Tanning denies any wrongdoing, but has accepted the state’s findings and conclusions by pleading no contest to some counts in order to move on from the situation.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])