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Laser clinic sues Cynosure, alleges fraudulent device advertising

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | July 24, 2015
Medical Devices
Hartsough Dermatology in Illinois is suing laser device company Cynosure, for allegedly selling a laser device that fails to remove tattoos, despite marketing that it can. The amount sought is greater than $5 million, according to court documents provided by marketing watchdog organization, Truth In Advertising.

The device under fire is the PicoSure Picosecond Aesthetic Workstation, which the practice purchased on November 22, 2013. According to Cynosure’s website, the device eliminates dark, stubborn blue and green inks as well as previously treated, recalcitrant tattoos.

Hartsough Dermatology claims it administered the treatment as directed to many of their patients, but the device failed to eliminate any of the tattoos. The practice could not return the device, because they signed an agreement that stated that “Cynosure grants no right of return.”

To date, Cynosure has sold hundreds of PicoSure devices to dermatology and other types of clinics in the U.S. In Illinois alone, 50 devices have been sold.

After Hartsough submitted several complaints that the device did not perform as represented, the clinic received a software upgrade to address the problems, according to the court documents. However, the problems were not resolved and the upgraded laser caused burns to some patients.

According to Hartsough Dermatology, the fact that Cynosure created and installed the software upgrade is an admission that the device does not remove tattoos.

HCB News reached out to Cynosure for comment but requests were not immediately returned.

Hartsough Dermatology has asked for a trial by jury and an order ensuring that Cynosure’s conduct “does not continue into the future.”

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