ATLANTA – Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that Premiere Dermatology & Surgery LLC, Aesthetic Laser & Boutique Inc., Boutté Contour Surgery & Dermatology P.C., and their owner, Windell Davis-Boutté (collectively, Premiere Dermatology) have entered into a consent judgment with the state of Georgia in response to allegations that they violated the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by falsely representing Boutté’s medical certifications and failing to provide refunds for cosmetic surgery procedures that were never actually performed.
“In order to make sound health-related decisions, Georgia patients must be able to trust the information they receive from their medical providers regarding their qualifications,” Carr said in a news release. “It is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible for a medical provider to fabricate such information, and our office will hold accountable those who intentionally misrepresent their qualifications.”
The attorney general’s office’s investigation revealed that Premiere Dermatology’s website and advertising materials represented that Boutté was “board-certified” in “surgery,” “cosmetic surgery,” and “skin surgery,” when actually, Boutté was only certified as a “dermatologist” under the American Board of Dermatology. The ABD does not issue certifications or sub-certifications for surgery, skin surgery or cosmetic surgery. The attorney general also alleges that the website contained false or unsubstantiated representations concerning Boutté and her staff’s affiliations and qualifications.
In addition, Carr alleges that Premiere Dermatology has refused to refund payments made by consumers for unperformed surgeries after Boutté’s medical license was suspended.
To resolve the allegations, Premiere Dermatology has entered into a consent judgment with the state of Georgia requiring it to pay $190,000 in consumer restitution. Additionally, the consent judgment prohibits Premiere Dermatology from again making false or misleading statements concerning Boutté and her staff’s qualifications. Should they do so in the future, they must pay $680,000 in civil penalties to the State.
The Attorney General’s Office has identified 38 consumers who are entitled to refunds under the terms of the consent judgment. These consumers prepaid for Boutté to perform a surgery, procedure or other service, which never occurred and for which they were never refunded.
Claims must be submitted by or on behalf of identified consumers who can demonstrate that they made a payment to Premiere Dermatology & Surgery LLC, Aesthetic Laser & Boutique Inc., Boutté Contour Surgery & Dermatology P.C. or Windell Davis-Boutté for one or more procedures that did not occur; and have not received full refunds for the payments from the parties named above or from a third party.
To receive refunds under the settlement, consumers must fill out a prescribed claim form and submit it to the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division, along with supporting documentation. Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 in order to be considered for restitution.