Hair Relaxer Lawsuit: A Comprehensive Overview

applying liquid keratin using a special hairdressing brush

Hair relaxers are cosmetic products used to straighten and smooth hair, making it easier to manage and style. However, these products can contain harsh chemicals that may lead to severe health issues when used incorrectly or excessively.

Women diagnosed with uterine cancer after extended use of hair straightening products are taking legal action against the companies that make these items, aiming to receive financial compensation.


Latest Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update

As of November 2023, a status conference regarding the hair relaxer MDL class action lawsuit was conducted by Judge Mary M. Rowland in Illinois. Key developments from this conference include the court’s request for a new briefing schedule for a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which is to be submitted by November 28, 2023. There is an ongoing disagreement about the scheduling of Science Day, requiring parties to submit their positions in cross briefs by December 6, 2023. Additionally, progress is being made on a Case Management Order related to the Plaintiffs’ Fact Sheets and Records Authorizations, and the court will be informed upon its completion.
In other matters discussed, the defendants provided updates on similar lawsuits in state courts without seeking any specific action from the court. The issue of document production for products sold outside the U.S. was also addressed, with deadlines set for cross-briefs by December 6, 2023. Revlon is specifically tasked with clarifying its discovery position by November 27, 2023.
Moreover, Revlon is required to produce documents in response to two specific Requests for Production by December 15, 2023. Similarly, Avalon must provide a complete ingredient list in response to Plaintiffs’ Interrogatory 6 by the same date.
Lastly, the court referred Electronic Stored Information (ESI) discovery and related disputes to Magistrate Judge Finnegan but did not order the defendants to disclose all systems used during the relevant period.

Why Are Victims Filing Hair Relaxer Lawsuits?

People are filing hair relaxer lawsuits because they believe the prolonged use of these products has caused them to develop uterine cancer. They are seeking compensation from the hair relaxer manufacturers through product liability lawsuits.

One of the main allegations is that the manufacturers did not adequately warn consumers about the potential risks. Plaintiffs argue that if they had known about these health hazards, they would have made different choices about using the products.

In addition to individual cases, multi-district litigations are also being formed. These MDLs consolidate individual lawsuits to address common issues, such as whether hair relaxers have the potential to cause cancer on a larger scale. The goal is to hold hair relaxer manufacturers accountable and prevent future harm.

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Health Implications of Hair Relaxers

The main health implication of using hair relaxers that has led to lawsuits is the development risk of uterine cancer. People allege that long-term use of these products has directly contributed to their cancer diagnosis and are seeking compensation through legal action.

Known Injuries and Side Effects

Apart from developing uterine cancer, the following are the other known health issues associated with hair relaxer use:

  • Scalp irritation and burns: The chemicals in hair relaxers can irritate the scalp and even cause chemical burns if left on for too long.
  • Hair loss and breakage: Prolonged use can weaken hair strands, leading to hair loss and breakage over time.
  • Allergic reactions: Some users may experience allergic reactions like itching, redness, or rash due to the chemicals used in these products.
  • Hormonal disruption: Certain chemicals in hair relaxers are suspected of disrupting hormonal balance, although more research is needed.

Fertility issues: Some studies have pointed to a potential link between hair relaxer use and decreased fertility, particularly among certain racial and ethnic groups who use these products more frequently.

Eligibility for Victims and Legal Procedures

Victims of hair relaxer health issues become eligible to file a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit if they have suffered adverse health effects, such as uterine cancer, directly attributed to the use of hair relaxer products. These individuals can pursue legal action against the manufacturers chemical hair relaxer products by filing product liability lawsuits, either individually or as part of a multidistrict litigation, to seek compensation for their damages.

Am I Eligible to File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

One of the key factors to establish eligibility is the timing of the diagnosis in relation to the usage of the product. Plaintiffs often need to provide medical records, purchase receipts, or other evidence to show a clear timeline linking their condition to using hair relaxers. Expert testimonies may also be used to establish the connection between the product and the health issue.

Additionally, eligibility can be enhanced if a victim joins a multidistrict litigation or class-action lawsuit. These collective legal actions pool together individual cases to address common issues and can make the legal process more efficient. Joining an MDL or class action can also provide plaintiffs with access to shared resources and expertise, increasing their chances of a successful outcome.

Steps to File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

The following are the steps to file a hair relaxer lawsuit:

  1. Consult an attorney: Begin by consulting a qualified attorney specializing in product liability or mass tort cases to discuss your situation.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect all relevant medical records, purchase receipts, and any other evidence that establishes a link between your health issues and the hair relaxer product.

File a complaint: Your attorney will draft and file a formal complaint against the manufacturer, outlining the allegations and seeking specific forms of compensation.

Potential Compensation and Settlements

Potential compensation in hair relaxer use lawsuits could range from $150,000 to $1,600,000. Medical expenses can be claimed for both past and future treatments related to the adverse effects of using hair relaxers.

Lost wages may be claimed if the health issues have led to time off work or reduced the victim’s earning capacity. Additional amounts may also be awarded for emotional distress, pain, and suffering or to punish the company for negligence in the form of punitive damages.

All Hair Relaxers Updates

November 21, 2023

During the hair relaxer MDL class action lawsuit status conference in Illinois, the court requested a new briefing schedule and addressed disagreements over the scheduling of Science Day, with key submissions due by early December. The parties are working on a Case Management Order, and defendants reported on similar state court lawsuits without seeking specific court actions. Additionally, document production timelines were set, including Revlon and Avalon’s obligations for specific document and ingredient list disclosures by mid-December, with ESI discovery issues referred to Magistrate Judge Finnegan.

October 16, 2023

The MDL for hair relaxer lawsuits has expanded to include 5,996 cases, with 3,752 new filings in the past month. In contrast, there were fewer than 200 cases pending as of June 2023.

September 1, 2023

The court has offered helpful responses to common queries about initiating a hair relaxer product lawsuit under case MDL 23-cv-00818. One of the main companies whose chemical hair relaxer is being sued, Dabur International (which owns Namaste Laboratories), has recently switched its legal representation. Previously defended by the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLC (who also led the defense in the 3M earplug case), Dabur has now opted for a new set of attorneys from the law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP.

August 17, 2023

A Master Complaint has been introduced in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), offering a standard document that all parties suing can refer to in their lawsuits. On the same day, 36 new cases were added to the MDL, bringing the total number of pending cases to 275. While this is a decrease from the previous month’s 87 new cases, such declines are typical for mid-summer.

August 4, 2023

Judge Rowland approved an official Short Form Complaint (SFC) for future lawsuits involving chemical hair relaxers and cancer. This standardized form will simplify the process, making it easier for new cases to be filed directly in the class action MDL.

August 1, 2023

The number of cases of the hair relaxer MDL reached 236, a significant increase from the initial 21 cases. Last month alone saw 87 new cases added, and this surge is expected to continue.

July 1, 2023

Defendants proposed to bifurcate discovery, focusing first on general causation or whether hair relaxers actually cause cancer. This move is frowned upon as it could slow down case progress and is not standard practice in multidistrict litigation. The judge is unlikely to grant this request.

June 16, 2023

In the past month, 25 new hair relaxer lawsuits joined the MDL, increasing the total pending cases to 149. Created with just 21 cases, the MDL is anticipated to see a dramatic rise in new filings soon.

June 9, 2023

The defendants are pushing for a phased discovery process that starts with establishing a link between chemical hair relaxers and cancer. The plaintiffs strongly oppose this, arguing that it will unnecessarily delay the case proceedings.

June 1, 2023

A Boston University School of Public Health study linked chemical hair straighteners to fertility decline. The study, which focused especially on Black, Hispanic, and mixed-race individuals, adds to existing concerns about the health risks of such products.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit FAQs

It can take anywhere from a few months to several years for a hair relaxer lawsuit to reach a conclusion. The timeline for resolving a hair relaxer lawsuit can vary widely depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule.

The defendants in hair relaxer lawsuits are often the manufacturers of the hair relaxer products and parent companies or distributors involved in their sales. Legal actions may also target retailers or advertising agencies that promote the hair relaxer products themselves.

Yes, it’s highly recommended to consult with a lawyer who specializes in mass tort or product liability cases to file a hair relaxer lawsuit. You can find such lawyers through referrals, legal directories, or by researching firms that have experience with hair relaxer cancer lawsuit cases.

You can locate an attorney experienced in hair relaxer lawsuits by simply filling out our contact form. Our team will swiftly contact you and connect you with a specialist in this area. Reach out to us today for assistance with your case.

File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve experienced health problems from using a specific hair relaxer. Reach out to see if you qualify.

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Victims Filing Hair Relaxer

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Case Status:
Early stages

Soft Sheen, Strength of Nature, and L’Oreal

Uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer