Teen Sues Haifa Mall After Illegal Piercing Goes Awry

A 14-year-old Haifa girl who had her tongue and her nipple pierced without her parents' knowledge and suffered injuries as a result is now suing the man who did the piercing and the mall the shop was in.

By law, piercings on an individual under the age of 16 require parental permission.

According to the suit, filed recently in the Haifa Magistrate's Court by attorney Gil Goldraich, last year the teen was walking around the Haifa Mall with a friend, and the pair entered the shop where the piercing took place. The shop has since closed. A man working in the shop allegedly suggested to the girl that she have her nipples pierced.

According to the suit, the man took her to a room where he instructed her to remove her blouse, and proceeded to pierce her left nipple. He then advised her not to tell any adults about the piercing, mainly because they "don't understand anything."

The suit also alleges that the piercing was done without proper disinfectants and other safety measures.

Later, the girl developed pain and swelling in the area, but she did not tell her parents.

A few months later, during another visit to the mall, the same man suggested he pierce her tongue, and she agreed. A few days later her tongue began to swell and produce pus.

Frightened, she admitted to her mother what had been done, and they sought medical attention.

The girl now suffers from a scar and lack of sensation in her nipple and her tongue.

"Many minors get piercings that their parents know nothing about and do not check for, especially on parts of the children's bodies that are concealed. Therefore it is a matter of public interest to root out this phenomenon, and the only way is to sue these businesses that care nothing for the law," Goldraich said.

The former owner of the shop, Alon Dan, said he was unaware of the case and that there are "clear directives" that parental permission must be obtained before piercings are performed on someone under the age of 16.

"Sometimes minors come to us who say they have permission by phone of some kind, and we don't do the piercing," he said. "The parent must be present or the minor must have an identity card, which is issued at the age of 16."

Dan said the worker would have worked less and earned the same amount had he not performed the piercing, and therefore he had no reason to break the law. He said the matter would be brought up with the worker.

The management of Haifa Mall said they would respond to the suit when they received a copy of it.