BBL, lawsuit, surgery, hospital, doctor

Family of Dead Tennessee Woman Files Lawsuit Over Fatal 2021 Brazilian Butt Lift

Dr. John Sampson was not authorized to perform the 2021 surgery that left Erica Russell, a 33-year-old mother of five from Tennessee, dead.

In 2021, Erica Russell, a 33-year-old mother of five from Tennessee, died during an illegal Brazilian butt lift. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her doctor, Dr. John Sampson, and the Seduction Cosmetic Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

According to reports from the Daily Mail, Russell died on June 16, 2021, after Sampson punctured her liver, bladder, intestinal tract, and abdominal wall with a cannula. A deposit of fat was released into her bloodstream and caused a block, leading to “fatal cardiac arrest.”

Russell died just two hours into the BBL procedure. The law firm representing her family, Stewart Tilghman Fox & Bianchi & Cain, said, “What happened to Ms. Russell should have never happened. This is assembly line medicine, and that’s what killed her.”

Sampson was not authorized to perform the BBL procedure, and was banned from doing them at Seduction Cosmetic Center. He was fined $20,000 for a previous incident but kept his practicing license. He had performed six different operations before the 2021 incident, totaling 14 hours of illegal surgery at Seduction Cosmetic Center.

Further investigation found that although Sampson was not authorized to perform surgeries, he claimed that he had “plastic and cosmetic privileges at Seduction” and that he was a “Designated Physician” when Russell signed off on the BBL paperwork. 

Sampson was accused of violating the “minimum standard of care” for the procedure, as he delivered incorrect fat injections to the standards and caused the pulmonary fat embolism that ultimately killed Russell.

Sampson has been removed from the Seduction Cosmetic Center website amid the lawsuit.

“It’s unbelievable that a surgery center could allow this to happen,” said Stephan Cain, an attorney for the Russell family. ” This doctor should have never been performing this surgery, much less seven surgeries in one day.”

“To know Erica was to love Erica. Erica went above and beyond. And when I say she was the representation of strong, no matter what, or despite whatever she was going through, she made sure everybody was good—everybody,” a friend of Russell said at the funeral service. 

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