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This misspelled tattoo really hurts

March 11, 2007|Emma Graves Fitzsimmons | Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Michael Duplessis loves Chicago so much that he wanted its nickname tattooed on his chest.

But he says the idea went terribly awry in a tattoo parlor: He left with "CHI-TONW" inked into his skin rather than "CHI-TOWN."

Duplessis is suing the business and the tattoo artist for monetary damages in the 2005 incident after suffering what he contends was "emotional distress from public ridicule."

"It was so embarrassing," Duplessis, 40, said. "It was on my chest, and it was spelled wrong. I had to deal with all the people teasing me about it."

The lawsuit names Jade Dragon Tattoo, artist Sam Hacker and contractor Mad Hacker Inc. as defendants.

Included in the suit is a drawing of the tattoo Duplessis said he wanted. It shows the word "CHI-TOWN" above an image of the John Hancock Center. He paid $250 for the tattoo on April 1, 2005, the suit says.

Duplessis, a mechanic, signed a release, which he contends the defendants modified once the error occurred by writing "chi-tonw" across the top of the form.

Joseph "Fat Joe" Scapini, the owner of the tattoo store, did not return calls for comment. Neither did Duplessis' lawyer.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence and asks for actual damages and attorney fees.

It says Duplessis "endured pain and suffering" from a procedure to fix the misspelled tattoo, in addition to a "loss of self-esteem and psychological pain."

Duplessis refused to say whether the tattoo had been fixed, but the lawsuit said he would "continue to be injured and disfigured and to suffer in the future."

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