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Virginia Woman Wins $1 Million Settlement After Catching Horrifying Bacterial Infection From Pedicure

Samantha Payne Pedicure Lawsuit


You might want to think twice the next time you head to the nail salon for a manicure or pedicure. At the very least, you’ll definitely want to check the sanitation rating and practices of the establishment you go to. One Virginia woman learned that lesson the hard way.

Samantha Payne was recently awarded just over $1 million in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages after suffering a nasty bacterial infection from an unsanitary pedicure. The Richmond nail salon, now called Red Nails, is under new management and will most likely not face any new disciplinary action over the lawsuit.

Payne alleges that three weeks after getting a pedicure at Red Nails back in 2012, she developed a bacterial infection that resulted in “pimple-like sores on her legs.” She was eventually diagnosed with a cutaneous mycobacterial infection and left with scars up and down her legs.

Once Payne realized that the nail salon was to blame for the infection, she filed a complaint with the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology. An investigation conducted as a result of the complaint led the board to revoke the salon’s license, citing negligence “in failing to clean the pedicure chair basins.”

So next time you hit up the salon for a quick mani/pedi, definitely make sure the place is clean first and don’t be afraid to say something (or report it) if sanitation seems lacking.

I am a UC Berkeley grad and lover of wine, cheese, travel and reality television. Feel free to contact me at You can follow me on Instagram @you_feta_believe_it.