Hair Relaxer Lawsuit 2024: The Ongoing Massive Issue

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Product Liability

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The annual revenue of companies that produce personal care products is about $42 billion. Without a doubt, these big companies have the funding to carry out the required research to make sure their products are secure. A corporation also owes it to its customers to notify them when it discovers that a component of its product may be dangerous.

This blog will examine what is hair relaxing, the Loreal hair relaxer lawsuit claim, and the scientific proof of the cause.

What is Hair Relaxer?

A chemical hair relaxer is a lotion or cream that helps straighten and manage the hair. It lessens the curl by weakening the hair strand and chemically altering the texture. You might have thought about obtaining a hair relaxer if you have natural hair.

Natural hair relaxers, commonly called chemical straighteners, are used on natural hair to relax your curls and give them a straight appearance. Relaxers have been a crucial component of black women’s hair experiences for over a century. However, things are changing due to people’s growing awareness of the grave health dangers of using hair relaxers.

Are hair relaxers dangerous? Using chemical hair straightening treatments raised consumers’ chances of developing uterine cancer, according to a hair relaxer lawsuit filed against cosmetics behemoth L’Oreal and other cosmetics corporations.

The disadvantages of relaxing hair are hair becomes weak, brittle, and breakable. Even worse, it can burn your skin, harm your scalp permanently, and make you lose your hair.

What Dangers Come with Chemical Hair Straighteners?

L’Oreal USA was sued on October 21, 2022, by an American woman, Jenny Mitchell, who used chemicals to straighten their hair and afterward got uterine cancer.

The woman’s cancer diagnosis was directly caused by her continuous exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals contained in L’Oreal cosmetics hair-straightening products, according to the L’Oreal hair relaxer lawsuit. The hair relaxer lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois.

At 28, she walked in for a fertility checkup and received a standard ultrasound. She was informed that she had uterine cancer three days later, despite having no family members who had ever had the disease.

Jenny Mitchell claimed that she had used the products for over 20 years before being identified as having uterine cancer and having a complete hysterectomy. She said that she is currently going through menopause following a complete hysterectomy.

What is Uterine Cancer?

The complaint uses an extensive medical study that revealed women who used chemical hair relaxer loreal products were more likely to get uterine cancer in the recent past.

Uterine cancer develops when abnormal cells originate in the uterus and begin to grow uncontrollably.

Uterine cancer comes in two primary varieties. 95% of all occurrences of uterine cancer are endometrial cancers, which start in the lining of the uterus (endometrium), whereas the less common uterine sarcomas begins in the muscle tissue (myometrium).

Uterine cancer comes in two primary varieties. 95% of all occurrences of uterine cancer are endometrial cancers. In endometrial cancer, the cancer cells grow in the endometrium. The second type is uterine sarcoma. It does not happen often and begin in the muscle tissue (myometrium).

The primary form of therapy for most uterine cancer patients is a hysterectomy. Radiation or chemotherapy may be required in advanced situations.

Is There a Link Between Uterine Cancer and Hair Relaxers?

A medical study says some chemicals in L’Oreal hair straightening products might increase a woman’s chance of getting uterine cancer. But it’s not completely sure yet.

According to the NIEHS researcher Che-Jung Chang, the latest study is significant for black women, who use hair straighteners more frequently and start earlier than people of other races.

Women who used L’Oreal hair relaxer products more frequently than four times per year had a more than two-fold increased risk of developing uterine cancer. 33,497 American women aged 35 to 74 who participated in the research were assessed over roughly 11 years. The study found that 378 women had a uterine cancer diagnosis.

The hair relaxer lawsuit brands manufactured by these defendants and used by the plaintiff include:

  • Motions
  • Dark & Lovely
  • Organic Root Stimulator
  • Olive Oil Relaxer
  • TCB Naturals
  • Just for Me
  • Soft and Beautiful
  • Ultra Sheen
  • Optimum
  • African pride

Dark and Lovely was launched in 1978. A woman filed a Dark and lovely relaxer lawsuit stating that it caused endometrial cancer diagnosis after using it for decades. This hair relaxer will grow a greater exposure. Many people filed Loreal hair relaxer lawsuits during the last month of 2022.

Women who have used chemical hair straighteners, hair relaxers, and other similar products have a higher chance of endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, as well as a number of other health issues.

Which Toxic Substances Can Be Found in Hair Relaxers?

Phthalates, often known as plasticizers, are used by L’Oreal and other manufacturers of chemical hair relaxers to give their products a softer feel.

According to the L’Oreal hair straightener lawsuit, endocrine-disrupting substances frequently found in hair straightening treatments, particularly the highly hazardous synthetic substance DI-2-Ethylhexylphthalate, or DEHP, can cause uterine cancer.

Di(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a synthetic compound frequently used to give polymers flexibility. DEHP is an odorless, colorless liquid. Wall coverings, tablecloths, baby pants, dolls, toys, shoes, automobile upholstery and tops, packaging film and sheets, medical tubing, and blood storage bags are just a few examples of plastic products that contain DEHP.

Chemical hair straighteners frequently contain substances like formaldehyde, metals, phthalates, and parabens, which are linked to a higher risk of cancer. The body may more readily absorb these substances through the burns and abrasions on the scalp that are frequently brought on by chemical straighteners.

Plaintiff’s Usage of Hair Relaxing Products

At the age of 28, Mitchell remarked during a news conference on Monday, “My aspirations of becoming a mother were gone.”

She said, “Like most young African-American girls, I was introduced to the use of chemical relaxers and straighteners at an early age. Looking a specific way and feeling a certain way has become socially accepted. And I am the first of many voices that will rise against these corporations and scream, No more!”

Jennifer Mitchell, the plaintiff, claimed that she used L’Oreal cosmetics from around 2000 when she was ten years old and was later diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2018. She is requesting that the court compel L’Oreal to pay specific monetary damages and cover the cost of medical surveillance.

The French cosmetics company, L’Oreal, is one of the defendants in Mitchell’s legal case for damages. She is requesting damages of more than $75,000.

The L’oreal relaxer lawsuit was filed only a few days after research linking chemical Loreal hair relaxers and straightening products with the emergence of uterine cancer was released in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

A woman from Alabama has filed a product liability case, claiming that years of exposure to the hair relaxers Dark & Lovely, African Pride, and ORS Olive Oil led to the development of uterine cancer, necessitating a hysterectomy.

The complaint filed by Tracine Lee Bush on May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois makes allegations against different chemical hair straightener manufacturers.

On January 13, 2023, another woman named Tamara Bryant filed a hair relaxer class action lawsuit against L’Oreal relaxer products, alleging that using hair straightening products is the cause of her uterine cancer.

The widespread use of hair straightening products is likely influenced by several factors, including Eurocentric standards of beauty, sociocultural constraints placed on Latina and Black women in the workplace due to microaggressions, and the threat of discrimination as the desire for versatility in terms of changing hairstyles and self-expression.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update 2024

January 8, 2024 Update

Two bellwether trials are planned: the first on November 3, 2025, and the second on February 2, 2026. even though these trial dates may seem far off. This is how complicated MDL class action lawsuits operate.

On January 31, 2024, a new lawsuit on hair relaxers was brought solely against L’Oreal. In Illinois, in 2022, plaintiff Urekata Grinston was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The case appears to involve a claim of personal injury related to a product liability issue against L’Oreal USA, Inc., and L’Oreal USA Products, Inc., and it will be adjudicated in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

May 2024 Update

L’Oreal and other companies facing many hair relaxer lawsuits in the federal court due to the cancer risks. The FDA wanted to ban formaldehyde, a harmful chemical, from these products. They were supposed to make this ban official by April 2024, but they haven’t yet. Formaldehyde in hair relaxers can cause skin issues, breathing problems, and increase the chances of getting cancer.

June 2024 Update

As of June 2024, there are still 8,170 ​hair relaxer lawsuits pending in MDL No. 3060, overseen by U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update 2023

Concerning the creation, development, manufacturing, testing, packaging, promotion, marketing, distribution, labeling, and sale of the goods marketed under the names Dark & Lovely, OS Olive Oil Relaxer, Just for Me, and African Pride, the lawsuit asserts claims arising from the defendants’ negligent, willful, and unlawful conduct.

In 2023, it’s anticipated that thousands of Black women will file hair relaxer cancer lawsuits, prompting a hearing on whether to merge cases filed in federal courts this week.

In February, according to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, nearly 60 complaints alleging that hair relaxer products sold by L’Oreal USA Inc. and other companies cause cancer and other health issues will be combined in federal court in Chicago.

As of March 2023, over 200 cases are waiting to be resolved. In the last two weeks of March, 38 new cases related to hair relaxer causing cancer were added.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined in April to combine and centralize all hair relaxer and perm lawsuits as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, and appointed U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland to take charge of all discovery and pretrial proceedings out of the Northern District of Illinois.

It is anticipated that Judge Rowland will establish a bellwether approach as part of the coordinated management of the litigation. Bellwether trials are used to understand how juries might react to certain facts and witness statements in other cases.

The court may later remand each person’s lawsuits if the parties cannot reach hair relaxer settlements for people diagnosed with cancer and other injuries after the MDL proceedings and any early bellwether trials scheduled by Judge Rowland.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update – August 2023

In a multi-district litigation class action, a master complaint is filed to consolidate common legal and factual claims shared by various plaintiffs. This doesn’t merge individual lawsuits but centralizes key allegations. A master complaint guides pretrial discovery.

Recently, a short-form complaint for hair relaxer cancer lawsuits was endorsed by Judge Rowland on August 4, 2023. This enables plaintiffs to refer to the master complaint easily, simplifying the filing of new cases in the MDL.

This development is expected to streamline filings and promote more hair relaxer lawsuits within the MDL. As of August 15, 275 hair relaxer cases were pending in the MDL.

Lawsuit for Hair Relaxer Update – September 2023

On September 13, 2023, Judge Mary M. Rowland created guidelines for filing claims in the large, growing lawsuit concerning hair relaxer products. Despite it being referred to as a “class action,” it is officially a multi-district litigation (MDL), meaning various individual cases are handled together in one court to save time and resources.

And speaking of cases, the numbers are just skyrocketing. Last month, only 275 cases were filed. But now? An escalating number of 2,244 cases are on the docket, and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down anytime soon.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update 2023 November

As of November 16, 2023, there was a sudden increase in cases; now there were 7967 hair relaxer cases pending in the MDL. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are requesting the court to hold back 11% of the compensation plaintiffs receive in the case.

What Are the Risks of Using Chemical Hair Straightening Products?

Women who often used chemical hair relaxers or hair straighteners and were diagnosed with any of the following injuries may be eligible for financial compensation and hair relaxer cash settlement advantages through a lawsuit against hair relaxer:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Uterine cancer
  • Uterine sarcoma
  • Cervical cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Preterm delivery
  • Disrupted thyroid hormone levels

These are the significant hair relaxing side effects.

Unfortunately, people with these issues might need to be made aware that using L’Oreal hair straightening products could be to blame. Women are filing lawsuits against L’Oreal to receive a settlement for their losses now that the lawsuit against the corporation is receiving widespread attention.

Have lawsuits concerning hair relaxers been resolved? A hair straightener settlement has not yet been reached.

The corporation continued selling these potentially hazardous products rather than taking them off the shelves, conducting more research, or even just notifying customers.

Did L’Oreal Know That the Hair Relaxers Contain Dangerous Chemicals?

The evidence indicates that L’Oreal was aware of the negative consequences of the chemicals used in the brand’s hair straightening products as early as 2015. As a result, customers who bought L’Oreal hair straightening products would be unaware that they were using a potentially harmful ingredient.

The hair straightening lawsuit claimed that the company “substantially benefited” from “unethical and criminal activity that led the plaintiff to purchase and regularly use a harmful and faulty product.”

Mitchell also claims that L’Oreal intentionally targeted black women and girls with their hair-straightening products and neglected to warn them of the hazards while knowing since 2015 that the products included potentially hazardous chemicals.

Mitchell’s hair relaxer attorney, Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann, said that her company already had other clients with comparable needs. Given that “many women will be coming out in the coming weeks and months to demand responsibility,” she predicted there would likely be more Loreal lawsuits.

Although this is the only L’Oreal hair relaxer lawsuit to be filed to date, many people in the legal and haircare sectors think this is just the beginning.

Lawsuit Over L’Oreal and Other Parties

L’Oreal, a cosmetics firm, is being sued by several other companies for allegations that its chemical hair straightening treatments enhance women’s risk of uterine cancer.

The allegations in the hair relaxer cancer lawsuit are against

  • L’Oreal USA Inc.
  • L’Oreal USA Products Inc.,
  • Dabur USA Inc.,
  • Dabur International Ltd.
  • Namaste Laboratories. (ORS Hair Care)
  • Strength of Nature Global LLC,
  • Soft Sheen Carson (W.I.) Inc., (Optimum)

Civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump said, “Black women have long been the victims of hazardous products intentionally targeted at them.” On October 24, Crump was supposed to discuss the complaint during a press conference.

Is Hair Relaxer Lawsuit a Product Liability Claim?

A product liability lawsuit was just brought against L’Oréal. A claim for product liability is a personal injury lawsuit made by a victim of a harmful or defective product. The product maker is often the target of product liability lawsuits, while some also target distributors, merchants, and other parties involved in the distribution process.

One distinctive feature of product liability lawsuits is that injured parties frequently do not need to demonstrate that the maker was negligent; instead, it is sufficient to establish that the product possessed a flaw that resulted in their injuries.

Although proving product liability claims in some respects is more straightforward, there are still difficulties in establishing whether a company’s product was faulty or excessively harmful.

One of the few options left for consumers to hold big companies responsible for the harm their products cause is through product liability claims. It is not always necessary for those who a risky product has harmed to prove that the producer was careless, but if negligence can be shown, it may allow for the potential of punitive damages.

The defendants are named in many distinct causes of action in Mitchell’s L’Oreal relaxer brands lawsuit. Her two main grounds of liability are poor design and failure to warn. Allegations that the defendants knew or should have known that the chemicals in their products may cause uterine cancer but neglected to notify consumers about this danger form the foundation of these lawsuits.

A move to combine all chemical hair straightener lawsuits into a federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation, is currently pending in the federal court system due to similar allegations made in hundreds of similar hair straightener endometriosis lawsuits filed over the past few months.

How do You Qualify for a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

People who think they used a L’Oreal chemical hair relaxer and then were diagnosed with cancer or another significant medical condition should speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more about their legal options and how to hold the corporation liable for their injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact a hair relaxer lawyer in this situation.

Suppose you or a loved one used above mentioned L’Oreal hair-straightening products and later got cancer. In that case, it’s possible that you were unaware that the hair products you frequently used contained carcinogenic chemicals when you got the disease.

Medical record review is an essential process in this case. Only medical records show whether the plaintiff suffered from cancer or other conditions due to the hair relaxer. Attorneys are ready to file class action lawsuit hair relaxer due to allegations of cancer risks associated with the products.

Cancer treatments, medical costs, rent or mortgage payments, travel to experts, and other expenditures can all be covered with money from a chemical hair relaxer lawsuit.

To wind up,

The absence of a warning label on the product labels prevents you from making an informed choice about the products you use, even though the evidence reveals that L’Oreal was aware that these substances were included in its products. Victims of harmful products may file a Loreal hair straightener lawsuit against the producer under state and federal law.

We’ll inform you when more information becomes available concerning the L’Oreal relaxers lawsuit in general and the L’Oreal relaxer lawsuit payout. When will the hair relaxer lawsuit be settled? L’Oreal hair relaxer lawsuit 2024 will answer many of our questions. Stay tuned.

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MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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