A Dallas Cryotherapy Center Accidentally Froze a Woman's Arm, Lawsuit Says

Categories: Legal Battles

CryoUSA.jpg
cryousa.com
Many athletes, amateur and professional alike, swear by cryotherapy. The three-minute sessions, which take place in a chamber cooled to a chilly -220 degrees Fahrenheit, do wonders for muscle recovery, never mind the ambiguity of the scientific literature. It's like an ice bath, only better.

So, what's the downside? At $75 bucks or so for a session, it's a bit costlier than a tub of ice water. Then, there's the not insignificant danger of walking away with a frozen limb.

That's what local hairstylist Alix Gunn says happened to her on the evening before Thanksgiving 2011 when she visited CryoUSA in Snider Plaza with a few friends and coworkers. When she walked out, she had a "literally frozen arm," she says in a lawsuit she filed against the business last month.

CryoUSA, the "official recovery system for CrossFit Dallas Central," doesn't limit itself to soothing sore muscles. Its website says Whole Body Cryotherapy can be used as a treatment for conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis, to tighten and beautify skin and as a way to "increase in overall health and beauty."

Gunn says she followed staff's instructions, disrobing as they asked and donning the socks and gloves she was provided. But the gloves were wet, and by the end of her three minutes inside the chamber, Gunn "felt a strange and powerful feeling in her dominant left arm." Specifically, the arm "looked and felt as if it was frozen."

As the arm thawed, Gunn's arm became painfully swollen. Later, excruciating blisters appeared. At Thanksgiving the next day, her family urged her to go to the hospital, where she was diagnosed and treated for third-degree burns.

Frostbite isn't particularly uncommon side effect of cryotherapy. It's the subject of numerous medical journal articles and is prevalent enough to become fodder for trial lawyers trolling for clients. Two years ago, frostbitten feet hampered sprinter Justin Gatlin's hopes of winning the 100-meter dash at the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2011.

All the more reason to be careful. In her lawsuit, Gunn says Whole Body Cryotherapy wasn't. They were the ones who told her to put on the wet gloves, after all.

Gunn is seeking unspecified damages.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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23 comments
lecterman
lecterman

Are these the same people that froze Ted Williams' head?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I would have to counter that this woman knowingly stepped into a chamber that was -220 degrees - what was she expecting, sunburn?

shawn4848
shawn4848

what's next?? 

um Dr. could you possibly freeze my turds so that I can have a great lawn in the Spring time?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Rich people do some really stupid shit.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Why can't these people die from this crap? Even as bad as it is, our medical care is too good - saves the cretins Darwin wants....

ChrisYu
ChrisYu topcommenter

I'm no expert, but would it not stand to reason that if the glove fits, they must acquit.

wcvemail
wcvemail

Given that it's two years later, apparently it took this long for the arm to heal enough to knock on a lawyer's door. Seriously, why the delay? If she had filed within a few months after it happened, she could afford a better Christmas this year, instead of 2015 or so when the settlement comes in.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

"Unspecified" = we don't have room in this article for that many zeros.

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

I've done it before, after my first marathon. Why the hell not?

They have more than one pair of gloves. All she had to do was ask for a dry pair! It's a roomy chamber, so my guess is that she was leaning against the side. Tsk tsk!

dmtrousd
dmtrousd

There's a two year statute of limitations, starting from date of discovery. Often the plaintiff's lawyer will wait for two years right up until the last day, so as to maximize damage awards--i.e., all the surgeries, additional treatments or injuries that may not be apparent within, say, only a year. This is not uncommon.

Keith
Keith

@wcvemail She likely tried to negotiate a  settlement, but in the end had to file. Not uncommon at all.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@dmtrousd I am enlightened. And they said this internet thing was only good for avoiding shopping malls.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Keith @wcvemail Thanks, Keith. All this time, all these stories, I never figured that out.

That's still a long time. As a small business owner, if I got a demand letter, I'd answer within a month at most after a legal consultation or two, either telling them to "Bring it on" or "Check enclosed."

BigNasty
BigNasty

Iced Taco... solid as a rock ;)

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