If you were diagnosed with cancer or another disease after using a hair straightener, you may be entitled to compensation. Victims sometimes want to know more about the legal claims made against the manufacturers of these products. As lawsuits continue to be filed over hair straighteners, it helps to understand their underlying allegations.
If you or a loved one became sick after using hair relaxers, speak with an experienced mass tort attorney. Rueb Stoller Daniel is here to answer your questions.
Lawsuit Against Major Hair Straightener Manufacturers Illustrates Legal Claims
In November, a significant lawsuit against hair relaxer manufacturers L’Oréal USA and Revlon was allowed to move forward. U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland denied most of the companies’ arguments presented in their motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The decision provides insight into the contentions being made by plaintiffs here and in other cases involving hair relaxers. These are some of them:
Product manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure their products are reasonably safe. Products can generally be unsafe for one of three reasons: poor design, poor manufacture, or failure to include adequate instructions. Concerning hair straighteners, plaintiffs typically allege that the product in question was defectively designed.
This includes the presence of toxic chemicals that cause serious health problems like ovarian and uterine cancer. In deciding to permit this claim to go forward, the court noted scientific studies linking the chemicals with cancer.
Failure to Warn
If a product is unsafe or potentially unsafe, a responsible manufacturer will warn its users. The failure to provide sufficient warning can support a lawsuit that seeks damages. In this instance, plaintiff victims contend that the manufacturers did not warn about the cancer risks linked to their products.
These include risks of uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. Victims assert that the defendants knew of the dangers but did not adequately test their products for safety. The court viewed the evidence as sufficient to support a failure to warn claim.
The judge allowed certain unfair conduct claims related to misleading consumers to continue forward. These concern the general safety of hair relaxer products which defendants are alleged to have cared little about. By misleading consumers, the plaintiffs assert, defendants unfairly took advantage of them and fraudulently benefitted.
When it comes to selling products, certain manufacturer warranties attach to them. Some of these are implied, which means they are automatically presumed. Others are expressly made by the product manufacturer. The product will usually be warranted as safe, free of unreasonable dangers, and otherwise suitable for consumer use.
A company that violates these warranties may be held liable for resulting damages.
Unjust Enrichment, Punitive Damages, and Other Claims
Lastly, the court allowed the plaintiffs’ arguments of unjust enrichment, punitive damages, and other claims to proceed. Unjust enrichment means the manufacturer unfairly profited from its actions. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for especially wrongful conduct. Other damages related to unsafe hair straighteners include wrongful death and loss of consortium.
Let Our Legal Team Assess Your Options
It’s important to note that the claims underlying every lawsuit are unique from those in other lawsuits. This means that the arguments and evidence in your case will likely be different from someone else’s. Nonetheless, the above summary gives victims a good idea of what they can expect to be argued in most hair straightener claims.
Were you or a relative made sick because of a hair relaxer? If so, speak with Rueb Stoller Daniel’s experienced legal team to determine your options today. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.