In Cosmetic Procedures Clinic of North Dallas v. Ayub the Dallas Court of Appeal held that claims arising out of lazer hair removal are not healthcare liability claims governed by Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Chapter 74. As non-healthcare liability claims these claims are not subject to the onerous expert report requirement designed to make many legitimate medical claims cost prohibitive.
Chapter 74 defines a healthcare liability claim as a claim (1) against a health care provider or physician (2) for treatment, lack of treatment, or other claimed departure from accepted standards of medical care, or health care, or safety or professional or administrative services directly related to health care, (3) which proximately results in injury to or death of a claimant, whether the claimant’s claim or cause of action sounds in tort or contract. Chapter 74 has been so broadly applied that even janitorial services in hospitals and the actions of the delivery services that transport patients to and from medical appointments have been held to be subject to its’ requirements. Indeed, the joke in Texas is that anything that happens in sight of a hospital would probably be held to be protected healthcare under Chapter 74.
The Ayub decision is a refreshing application of common sense that has been largely missing in the interpretation of Chapter 74. The Court reasoned that lazer hair removal did not pertain to any medical condition, was not performed by one licensed to render medical care by the State of Texas, and does not constitute medical treatment under the terms of Chapter 74.