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Nu U Medical Spas Sued By Illinois State Attorney General

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago-area medical spas, Nu U Med Spas, for performing unapproved procedures without a physician's supervision and luring patients through deceptive marketing.

This looks like it started with an expose by local Chicago television news.

The seven NuU Medspas in the Chicago area aggressively promote Lipodissolve, a series of injections that supposedly will melt your fat away.

The ads talk about reduced inches with no knives, no tubes, and no pain -- a deceptive ad, patients say.

NuU does not tell clients that Lipodissolve is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"There is no study out there that shows clearly whether it works and what specifically are the risks of it," said Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Dr. Michael Lee.

That's not a problem, said NuU district supervisor Laura Rowsey, formerly a modeling school sales manager.

"This is a soy-based mineral with amino acids," Rowsey said. "Bruising and swelling is like your worst case scenario with this treatment."

But doctors have seen a number of Lipodissolve complications.

Cynthia Sacramento, who went to the Lincoln Park spa, suffered painful scar tissue buildup around her injection site that will require surgery.

Dr. David Song of University of Chicago Hospital said the entire injection area will have to be excised.

Sacramento said she's devastated.

Even proponents say Lipodissolve is for treating pockets of fat, not for bigger weight problems.

NuU in Lincoln Park signed another former client, who preferred to remain anonymous, up for $2,400 in treatments on his belly.

"I think it's a big scam, a waste of money," he said. "The only thing that got thin on me was my wallet."

NuU sales people are pressured to meet sales goals and arrange for many clients to finance their treatments. The money is collected up front and NuU claims it's not refundable.

"Our goal was to get $15,000 a day," said former NuU spa manager Patti Feinstein.

Feinstein recalled how Rowsey scolded her for turning away a skin cancer patient saying, "You are not going to make quota if you don't sell," Feinstein said.

Records show her spa sold made more than $200,000 a month.

Ouch. You have to love how a reporter makes a point of stating that the Nu U spokesperson was fromerly a sales manager for a modeling school. Looks like another slap-down for Nu U Medspas. Madigan's complaint claims that Nu U Med Spas try to lure customers into buying "Lipodissolve, which is an injected therapy used to dissolve fat cells." Here's the full press release:


Attorney General Alleges Nu U Performed Unapproved Procedures Without Physician Supervision And Used Deceptive Marketing to Lure Patients

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Nu U Med Spas for deceptively marketing and performing unapproved, unsupervised cosmetic treatments that caused some patients to experience extreme pain and lasting injuries.

“These procedures have yet to be thoroughly researched and sanctioned by the proper medical authorities,” Madigan said. “Despite lacking concrete scientific evidence, Nu U purposefully misleads consumers into believing that their medical spa treatments are safe and effective. I’m very concerned that the health and safety of Illinois consumers who visit Nu U Med Spas are at risk.”

The Chicago-based medical spa chain allegedly uses high-pressure sales tactics based on deceptive marketing claims to induce consumers into purchasing a series of medical and beauty treatments, including Lipodissolve, which is an injected therapy used to dissolve fat cells, according to Madigan’s complaint. Nu U allegedly claims its treatments will “liquefy fat quicker” and can “rid your system of that life long battle of the bulge,” but Nu U fails to inform consumers that its treatments haven’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective treatments. Both the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons do not recommend using Lipodissolve for fat reduction due to the lack of research that shows its effectiveness.

Further, because Lipodissolve is an injected treatment, it requires a physician’s order, but Nu U allegedly administers the fat-reducing treatment without a doctor’s order. In fact, despite its outward claims, Nu U allegedly fails altogether to monitor and evaluate patients by licensed physicians at all seven of its Chicago area locations.

Madigan’s complaint further alleges that the Nu U personnel rush consumers into signing contracts, medical consent forms and financing documentation for treatments but fail to review the documents with consumers. The defendants allegedly pressure consumers to sign up for health care financing but fail to inform consumers that by signing the financial documentation they are authorizing an automatic credit card charge. Nu U allegedly refuses to provide refunds when requested, even in the event that a consumer has not received all of the contracted treatments.

Madigan’s lawsuit charges Nu U with violating the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Illinois Medical Practice Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. It asks the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from owning or operating medical or beauty clinics in Illinois and to order the company to pay civil penalties of $50,000, an additional $50,000 penalty for each violation committed with the intent to defraud, an additional $10,000 penalty for each violation committed against a senior citizen 65 years of age or older, and the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of the lawsuit.

To be honest, this looks like some grandstanding on the part of the Attorney General. Lipodissolve is used in perhaps thousands of medical spas and cosmetic practices around the country without 'painfull scar tissue build up' and complications.

And what does it actually mean when. "Dr. David Song of University of Chicago Hospital said the entire injection area will have to be excised."? An entire treatment area excised from needle sticks? Seems fishy to me. Might well be something of a hatchet-job.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Reader Comments (15)

Of course it's a scam. Remember the saying "if it's too good to be tru". Well knowing NU U and Laura and management. I used to do service on some of the older Cynosure hair removal lasers when they were Sona Medspas. When NU U bought the franchise, they let everything go to hell. Fired all there qualified staff and hired a bunch of pretty faces and people who would follow orders. They let their lasers break down and instead of repair them, they treated everyone with the wrong laser, which was much more painful. So when the apogee 9300 broke they were using their Acclaim laser. The staff were never trained how to maintane the laser handpieces or rebuild them, which was only allowed by those who owned the older lasers, because of liability. Well instead of doing it right, they put lenses in wrong and had laser calibration errors and burn problems.

After finally selling handpiece cradles and tips and doing service, Laura and all her wonderful experience and lying cheating glory, decided not to pay me for my services and hire some sub par, unqualified, untrained technician, who offered to do the job for less. All he did was take lasers and Frankenstein them together, to get them working for a very short time. Funny thing is, they ended up not paying him either and then, in order to get him in for the next problem, they told him they would pay him, and this went on with who knows how many fools.

This company should be put out of business.

Theres another center in Arizona that recently was looking for someone to put a power supply in their Cynosure Elite, knowing that unless there is a used one in the market, which usually arent any available, and that I'm the only one with new power supplies other than Cynosure, they never hired me, to do the work even though my power supply is brand new with warranty. They posted on here still looking for a technician because Cynosure and myself refused to do it unless paid for before the service call.

NU U are crooks, and don't pay their bills.

The whole issue of whether the lipodissolve side effects or issues are real, i believe it's too good to be true. It's like a non medical herbal treatment, therefore doubtfull. The other issue is abused, anything can be dangerous.

Leon L.

12.14 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Did I miss something? Did Nu U Medspas buy the Sona Medspa Franchise?

12.15 | Unregistered CommenterJL MD

only the privately owned ones in chicago.

12.17 | Unregistered Commenterleon

This company should be put out of business, they ruined my skin and refuse to give me my money back for the treatments I did not receive. Why would I want to go back and get more of the same? It almost seems like everyone that works there does not care about the patients, but just want their money. Everything is to be paid upfront, that in itself should have me run out the door. The customer service manager acted as though he really cared about my problem, but never returned my money. I feel as though I was ripped off! Good Luck to Lisa Madigan, I think she has a great case and cares about the people of Illinois, and believe me she would never have taken on a case unless she had complaints to back her legal effort. I think she is doing a great job.

01.10 | Unregistered CommenterDD

I also had the worst experience with this company. I called and inquired about laser hair removal, which they told me to come in and get started that day. Gina took my $1000 deposit then proceeded to tell me that they were too busy that day. The next day, they sent me to Schaumburg, where they didnt have the correct laser!! They then offered me a complimentary facial, that turned out to be a chemical peel! It took layers of skin off my face!!! I now have scars on my face and they still have my deposit for my laser treatment!!! Rawlings and Sean Hoffman refuse to return my calls or money til I sign a waiver that releases their responsibilities!!!! DO NOT GO TO THEM AT ALL THEY TOOK MY MONEY WITHOUT EVEN GIVING ME SERVICE!!! i HAVE SINCE HIRED A LAWYER!

06.2 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia H

I went in for smart lipo a couple of months ago.
I have to say i look fantastic and It's amazing how much the procedure tightened my belly!! Highly recommend these guys. Just wanted to give a shout out to them for making me look great!

06.30 | Unregistered CommenterSpa Diva

NU U MEDSPA and ALL Affiliates are CROOKS! Do not believe anything they say or have to offer!... I payed my money and received services less than standards and when I asked for my money back, I finally received a refund check 4 months later, that BOUNCED. When I called back to let them know their check had bounced I was first told that "We will do everything to make sure you get your money back and that the CEO is aware and doing everything he can to get this situation taken care, You have to know that this wasn't intentional" So with that in mind I am thinking, they are going to do everything to get this taken care of.... WRONG... The NEXT WEEK I called back and asked where my money was and I was told that the CEO was out of town, but remember, the CEO was aware and doing everything he could to get this situation taken care of.... I was told by the CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER that my NEW check would be sent out before the week was out... LIE... I HAVE NOT HEARD FROM NU U MEDSPA SINCE!!!!! Obviously this is a chain of crooks since the CEO and the CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER were all involved.... After this stint I decided to go online and see if anybody else had fallen victim to NU U MEDSPA.... Come to find out the OWNER Is a crook and constantly tied up in legal situations!!!! They are liars and they will procrastinate and say anything to you in order to keep your money.. OBVIOUSLY they are broke and will steal in order to make a profit! I have sought legal assistance, contacted the BBB and I am posting this in hopes that those considering NU U Medspa will do your research before investing any of your money in this sorry excuse for a company!!!!.... WARNING: BEFORE EVEN CONSIDERING THEIR SERVICES GOOGLE THEM AND READ ALL OF THE SCAMS THEY HAVE PULLED!!! DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYMORE OF YOUR MONEY!

What is the status of this?

09.21 | Unregistered CommenterA nu me

I am filing a law suit against Nu umedspa and Sean Hoffman. They performed surgery on me and now I look worse than when I started. The only way to correct it is with a tummy tuck. They were supposed to pay me back for the money they still owed me from when I first paid but did not and kept making excuses about it. They had me sign papers and that was 4 months ago,still no money. Sean is a joke and is constantly out of town. he never once called me back when he said he would and I had to call him every time and threaten him to get him to do anything. he should be hung. As for the lipodissolve comment(YES) the entire area may need to be cut away because of the scarring involved from so many injection sites of one area time after time. Thise lumps do not go away on their own. They are completely inept and don't believe anything they say. if you try to get money back you are asking for a miracle. I am going to sue then because I have the money to do it and all the proof I need. I will supeona Arthur Sims as he said they are at a stand still as to why they have not paid me and he agreed that I have to sue them(and he works for them) Unreal..they did not keep theie part of our agreement so all bets are off and they are going to be sued for everything they owe plus all of this stress they have caused.

My name is Dominique smith and Nu u medspa has been a complete rip off. My original scheduled appointment date was on 6/10/2011 at the Schaumburg office, Chrissy called me at 12:00pm to inform me that my appt has to be rescheduled, she called on 6/09/2011 a day before my procedure, by this time I had already paid for my hotel and requested the 10th off from work. They rescheduled me for 07/25/2011 at 1200 noon. I went for my rescheduled appt. The MD informed me that I was over the weight requirement and this procedure wan't be safe for be d/t me being over the weight limit. No one never told me that there was a requirement for this procedure. I spoke with Chrissy at the schaumburg office she told me when I asked for a refund that they don't do refunds and that they can jus put my down payment towards something else! Omg is she serious??? No I want my 2600 dollars back that I put down for my smart lipo procedure nothing else! I also spoke with Linda at the call center her attitude was extremely poor and unprofessional, she said I sent Dan an email, I asked for dan's direct number Linda said he does not have a direct number! I said u mean to tell me Dan does not have a direct line?? Sounds kinda funny huh?? So I went on and contacted my attorney because I worked hard for my 2600 and I demand a return!!

$200,000 a month of revenue? that is insane.

07.25 | Unregistered CommenterMary

[This comment has been removed for violating our terms.]

Is it too late to claim back my money? I was pregnant and delay my lipo procedure. By the time I found out...they went out of business. Where or who can I get back my money of $6500?

10.18 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Nu u burned my hoo ha with their laser now it smells like burnt tuna fish. My boyfriend is super mad cuz he cant eat my hot box anymore.

06.30 | Unregistered Commenterjanice

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