New research has found a concerning link between hair straightening products and some forms of cancer, such as Uterine Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. Emerging information reveals that the chemicals used in these products can be harmful, especially when you are repeatedly exposed to them. Now, many individuals from across the country are looking to pursue legal action against the companies that make these products.
If you’ve used a chemical hair relaxer or straightener more than 4 times in the last 12 months you are over 150% more likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer.
Rueb Stoller Daniel is proud to have some of the most experienced and competent product liability lawyers in the country. Our law firm is keenly following the unfolding Hair Straightener Uterine Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits to get a better understanding of the link between different hair straightener products and illnesses such as cancer.
If you or someone you know has uterine cancer or ovarian cancer that may have been caused by one of these products, please contact our law firm today to get the legal assistance you need. The more people come out with similar stories, the stronger each potential lawsuit will be, and the higher the chances the responsible companies will be forced to pay compensation to victims.
Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawsuit News
February 2, 2024 – The hair relaxer class action MDL saw the addition of 191 new cases, bringing the total number of pending cases to 8,217. This represents a shift from the previous summer months when the MDL experienced a higher influx of 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per month, suggesting a new average volume.
January 15, 2024 – Less than a year since its inception, the hair relaxer class action MDL has amassed over 8,000 pending cases. In the past month alone, the MDL saw an addition of 42 new cases, pushing the total past the 8,000 mark.
January 1, 2024 – As 2023 drew to a close, Judge Rowland made a pivotal decision in the ongoing hair relaxer litigation by partially granting a motion from the plaintiffs to compel discovery. This motion specifically sought information related to hair care products that were sold outside the United States. Recognizing the potential relevance of this international product data to the case, Judge Rowland’s ruling facilitates a broader examination of the defendants’ product distribution and impact.
In addition to this, Judge Rowland set a firm deadline of February 29, 2024, for the defendants to respond to interrogatories. This directive underscores the court’s intention to maintain momentum in the discovery process, ensuring that necessary information is provided in a timely manner. By setting this deadline, the court is emphasizing the importance of thorough and expedient discovery in addressing the complex issues at the heart of this litigation.
Dec 26, 2023 – The Black Women’s Health Study, published in December 2023, provides significant insights into the impact of chemical hair relaxers on the risk of uterine cancer. This extensive study tracked 44,798 Black women who had a uterus over a period from 1997 to 2019. A key focus of the research was to determine if the use of chemical hair relaxers influenced the likelihood of developing uterine cancer. Throughout the study period, 347 of these women were diagnosed with uterine cancer. The researchers employed a sophisticated statistical analysis to adjust for various factors, such as age, that could potentially skew the results.
The findings revealed a clear correlation between frequent use of hair relaxers and an increased risk of uterine cancer. Women who extensively used hair relaxers for over 15 years and at least 5 times per year showed a higher incidence of uterine cancer compared to those who never used them or used them less frequently. The study specifically highlighted that among women who had experienced menopause – a demographic that comprises most of the clients in our law firm’s hair relaxer litigation – there was a significantly elevated risk of uterine cancer for those who moderately or heavily used hair relaxers. This study presents crucial evidence in the ongoing discourse about the health risks associated with hair relaxer products.
Dec 18, 2023 – In recent months, the hair relaxer class action MDL has experienced significant expansion. Throughout the summer and beyond, the MDL saw the addition of several thousand new cases each month, indicating a rapid growth in the number of plaintiffs. However, this trend experienced a stark and unexpected change last month. In a surprising shift, only 17 new cases were filed, marking a sudden deceleration in the MDL’s growth rate. As a result of this abrupt slowdown, the total number of pending cases in the hair relaxer MDL now stands at 7,894.
Nov 27, 2023 – In the MDL, the plaintiffs’ leadership team has filed a motion requesting that the judge establish an 11% common benefit fund holdback. A common benefit fund is a financial reserve designed to remunerate attorneys for work that benefits all plaintiffs within the MDL. This fund is set up by the court overseeing the MDL and accumulates a specified percentage of the settlements or recoveries from individual lawsuits within the MDL.
The lawyers involved in this litigation are recognized for their exceptional work and efforts in gathering and organizing evidence to support the various claims. Given the significance and impact of their work, there’s a consensus that they should receive substantial compensation, especially if the hair relaxer lawsuits result in successful outcomes.
However, the proposed 11% holdback for the common benefit fund is notably higher than in some other notable MDLs. For comparison, the 3M earplug lawsuit has a common benefit fund of 9%, while the Camp Lejeune litigation has set aside 3% for this purpose. This difference highlights the varying approaches to attorney compensation across different MDLs, reflecting the unique circumstances and complexities of each case.
Nov 21, 2023 – During a status hearing on November 17, 2023, for the hair relaxer class action lawsuit, presided over by Judge Mary M. Rowland, several critical topics were discussed. The first key point was the Case Management Order (CMO), focusing on the procedures for Plaintiffs’ Fact Sheets and Records Authorizations. The parties agreed to inform the court through email once they were prepared for the entry of the CMO. Another significant topic was the disagreement regarding the organization of Science Day. Both parties are tasked with submitting detailed cross briefs by December 6, 2023, which will elaborate on their respective views concerning the purpose, timing, and scope of Science Day, with a limit of 10 pages per brief.
The hearing also involved updates on related lawsuits occurring in state courts, with the defendants briefing the court but not requesting any specific actions. There was a discussion about the briefing schedule for a motion to dismiss the class action complaint. The defendants sought additional time for briefing, and it was decided that an agreed-upon briefing schedule and page limits should be submitted by November 28, 2023. Additionally, there is a requirement for the parties to submit cross-briefs by December 6, 2023, on the topic of document production for products sold internationally. As part of this, Revlon is expected to clarify its position on discovery related to its international products by November 27, 2023. These briefs are capped at 20 pages.
Finally, the hearing addressed document production commitments from Revlon and Avalon. Revlon is obliged to produce all documents in response to two specific Requests for Production (RFP) or confirm their non-existence by December 15, 2023. Avalon must provide a complete ingredient list in response to Plaintiffs’ Interrogatory 6 by the same deadline. The court also referred matters related to Electronic Stored Information (ESI) discovery and disputes to Magistrate Judge Finnegan. While there was no order for the defendants to identify all systems used during the relevant period, the plaintiffs retain the option to raise this issue with the magistrate judge if needed.
Nov 17th, 2023 -In the past three months, the hair relaxer class action MDL has seen a remarkable influx of new cases. Since approximately the end of August, the MDL has been receiving an average of 500 new cases per week related to hair relaxer claims. This consistent trend persisted over the past month, with an additional 1,971 cases being filed. This surge in case filings has brought the total number of cases in the hair relaxer MDL to 7,967, indicating a significant and sustained interest in the litigation.
Nov 14, 2023 – In a pivotal development yesterday, Judge Mary Rowland delivered a major ruling in the ongoing hair relaxer lawsuits against companies like L’Oreal USA and Revlon. Dismissing most of the defendants’ motions to dismiss, the judge’s decision allows a variety of plaintiff claims, including those related to negligence and warranty breaches, to move forward. This comprehensive Memorandum Order from Judge Rowland lends considerable weight and validation to the plaintiffs’ allegations, marking a critical juncture in the litigation.
The ruling can be distilled into several essential components. Firstly, the court dismissed the defendants’ preemption argument, maintaining the viability of the plaintiffs’ state law claims, including negligence, strict liability, and failure to warn. This decision forms the foundation of the hair relaxer lawsuits. Additionally, the court found merit in the plaintiffs’ allegations of unfair conduct, despite dismissing their fraud-based claims for lacking specificity. Claims concerning breaches of warranties were also allowed to proceed, alongside the recognition of unjust enrichment claims and the plaintiffs’ pursuit of punitive damages. The ruling also addressed personal jurisdiction issues, resulting in the dismissal of Dabur International due to insufficient business ties in the U.S., and Dermoviva, following the voluntary withdrawal of claims against it. This landmark ruling solidifies the course of the litigation, reinforcing the legitimacy of many of the plaintiffs’ claims.
Nov 1, 2023 – In the hair relaxer litigation, the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) has requested that 11% of the total gross recovery in each case be earmarked for their fees. This percentage is split, with 8% allocated for work that benefits the collective parties involved and 3% designated for common benefit costs.
The committee unanimously supports this fee arrangement, a stance that is somewhat expected given its financial implications for the lawyers themselves. This scenario is akin to a union unanimously voting for a pay rise; there’s minimal internal opposition when the decision benefits the group financially.
It’s key to highlight that this fee distribution discussion is separate from the victims’ compensation in the hair relaxer cases. The primary concern here shouldn’t be the division of attorney fees, but rather the focus should continue to be on securing the maximum possible settlements for the victims, which is the current direction of the litigation efforts.
Oct 19, 2023 – This month, the Black Women’s Health Study from Boston University, which has been ongoing since 1995, released findings from its examination of the health records of nearly 60,000 Black women. The study discovered that women who had long-term use of chemical hair relaxers showed a notably higher incidence of uterine cancer. These findings corroborate previous research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which indicated a definitive link between the use of hair relaxers and cancer. In response to these findings, earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a new regulation aimed at prohibiting the use of formaldehyde in all hair relaxer products.
Oct 16, 2023 – In the last 30 days, the hair relaxer class action lawsuit has seen a significant increase in size, with nearly 4,000 new plaintiffs joining the MDL. This surge brings the total number of pending cases in the hair relaxer MDL to 5,996. Given the current rate of new cases being added, it is anticipated that the total will exceed 10,000 before the year’s end.
Oct. 13, 2023 – The FDA is considering a ban on certain chemical hair-straightening products. These products have harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. The FDA will take time to consider public comments. Based on what people say, they’ll decide the next steps.
Oct. 2, 2023 – The hair relaxer class action is rapidly expanding, leading to significant discovery disagreements between the plaintiffs and defendants. Recently, all defendant parties collectively presented a brief to the MDL Judge, outlining their concerns with the plaintiffs’ extensive discovery requests. In essence, the defendants believe the plaintiffs are demanding too much information. These concerns will be discussed in today’s MDL status conference.
Sept. 18th, 2023 – The hair relaxer class action MDL has seen rapid expansion, with roughly 2,000 cases introduced in the last three months alone. To address this surge, Judge Roland issued Case Management Order No. 9 – Service of and Responses to Short Form Complaints (CMO 9) on September 27th.
Hair Straightener Lawsuit
When a product is put on the market – the manufacturers must ensure that it’s safe for consumers to use. However, this is not always the case. By filing a hair straightener lawsuit, you can take a stand against the companies that manufacture these products and seek monetary damages that can assist you in meeting your medical bills.
At Rueb Stoller Daniel, we know how difficult this situation must be for you and your loved ones. Our lawyers strive to make the legal process easy and convenient for you by handling every stage of the lawsuit from filing to getting a verdict.
The typical legal process in product liability lawsuits like these includes:
- Confirming whether your case qualifies for legal action.
- Building your case by gathering evidence, such as testimony and medical records.
- Filing your hair straightener lawsuit within the statutes of limitations.
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the defendant(s).
- Pursuing a verdict during a trial in court.
Hair Straightener Lawsuit Verdicts and Settlements
Filing a hair straightener lawsuit can secure you compensation in two ways.
- Settlement: This happens when our lawyers and the defendant(s) agree on a reasonable and fair settlement for your injuries.
- Trial Verdict: If a settlement between the two parties cannot be reached, your case may go to trial, where a jury or judge will listen to the arguments and decide the final outcome.
Hair Straightener Product Defendants
Any manufacturer of hair straightener products is a potential defendant in this kind of lawsuit. The chemicals used in the product will have to be correlated with the existing cancer studies to establish the proper defendants for each case.
A lawsuit has already been filed against cosmetic companies Namaste Laboratories, LLC., Dabur International, Soft Sheen/Carson Inc., Strength of Nature Global, and L’Oréal USA Products Inc., alleging that these companies failed to warn consumers that using their products increased a person’s risk of developing uterine cancer.
Excess hormones such as progesterone and estrogen have been linked to uterine cancer in the past, and many hair products can trigger the production of these hormones in a woman’s body. Currently, U.S. Federal Law requires testing for estrogen receptor activity only when it comes to drinking water contaminants and pesticides. Hair products are omitted, and this could be the loophole that cosmetic companies use.
Many women are currently planning to file hair straightener lawsuits after realizing that their cancers were caused by significant, continuous, or repeated use of these products. The number of lawsuits is likely to shoot up considering there are over 65,000 cases of endometrial cancer diagnosed annually, of which 12,000 people die.
Some of the companies that will be defendants in these cases are huge conglomerates, and the list of defendants may become longer if more people come out.
L’Oréal is currently the world’s largest cosmetics company and has numerous products including hair care, perfume, make-up, sun protection, skincare, and hair color. The company claims to offer men and women from across the world the best of perfume, hair care, and cosmetics in terms of safety, efficacy, and quality.
A lawsuit was filed earlier this year by a 28-year-old woman against L’Oréal and four other companies for failing to inform consumers that their products could increase their risk of developing uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.
Strength of Nature Global
Strength of Nature is a global hair care company with a wide range of brands, for all different hair types and styles. The company is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, and specializes in making hair conditioners, shampoos, oils, relaxers, and other related products. The company has been identified as a fast-rising world leader in the multicultural hair industry that targets Black and African-American women.
Soft Sheen/Carson Inc.
Soft Sheen/Carson Inc. makes and promotes ethnic skin and hair care products for Black women. The company sells its products in the U.S., as well as in many other countries across the globe. Soft Sheen/Carson products are sold under brand names like Magic Shave, and Dark & Lovely. Its range of hair straighteners and relaxers has been popular among Black women for many years.
Dabur International is a global cosmetics company that has gained huge popularity in recent years. The company offers a wide range of hair care products that trade under the brand name Dabur Amla Hair Care. Some of their main products include leave-on oils, hair serums, shampoo replacement, hot oil treatments, hair creams, conditioners, shampoos, hair oils, and other related products.
Namaste Laboratories LLC.
Namaste Laboratories LLC manufactures skin and hair care products for different target audiences. The company offers remedies and products for the renewal and healing of the body, skin, and hair. Namaste Laboratories provides a wide variety of products including hair grease, shampoos, oils, relaxers, and more. Namaste Laboratories mainly sells its products in the United States.
Injuries Caused by the Use of Hair Straightener Products
Studies have revealed that many hair straightening products tend to be generally harsher than other cosmetic products because they are required to break down the structure of human hair and render it into the desired state or form. The injuries that have been associated with the above-mentioned hair products are often caused by hormonal disruptions, which have led scientists to believe that this may be how these products may increase a person’s risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
The following types of cancers are being studied to establish if they may be caused by the use of hair straightening products.
As mentioned earlier, over 65,000 women are diagnosed with uterine cancer in the United States alone every year. This condition is typically diagnosed in the latter years of one’s life, with the mean age of patients being 61 years. The occurrence of uterine cancer among Black women is double that of white women. On top of this, Black women who have been diagnosed with uterine cancer usually have a poorer prognosis when compared to women from other racial backgrounds.
An NIH (National Institute of Health) study has revealed that women who use chemical hair relaxing or straightening products have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. It is from these findings that a specific link was identified between uterine cancer and different hair straightening products.
It’s important to note that the 5-year survival rate for women diagnosed with uterine cancer is 82%. The 5-year survival rates for Black and White women with this illness are 63% and 84%, respectively. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with more severe uterine cancer, which has lower survival rates. A recent report even went as far as to state that Black women die of uterine cancer at twice the rate of White women. These figures are alarming, to say the least!
Some uterine cancer symptoms include:
- Clear or white vaginal discharge in postmenopausal women
- Prolonged, heavy, or frequent vaginal bleeding over the age of 40
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding post-menopause to any degree
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding between periods before menopause
- Pain or cramping in the pelvic area or lower abdomen below your belly
Uterine Cancer is not the only risk of using hair straightener products, consumers risk Ovarian Cancer as well. Ovarian cancer, which is the rapid growth of destructive cells covering the ovaries, can spread fast and destroy necessary body tissue. Studies show that women who use hair straightener products more than 4 times a year are 2x more likely to test positive for ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer comes with many symptoms that are relatively common, meaning a person can have ovarian cancer and not notice or realize it. Some of these symptoms include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Quickly feeling full when eating
- Weight loss
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Back pain
Ovarian cancer can be detected in a couple of different ways. Doctors can diagnose it by feeling for lumps or changes in the shapes of the ovaries, imaging procedures like CT scans and ultrasounds, and blood tests. Once it is detected operations to remove ovarian cancer include surgery and chemotherapy. When detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is over 90%. However, only about 20% of all cases are discovered at this early stage, making early detection and awareness crucial.
Hysterectomy Procedures in Younger Female Claimants
A hysterectomy is a specialized surgical procedure that is used to remove the uterus. Around 600,000 women undergo hysterectomies in the U.S. every year. It’s important to note that a significant number of the women who undergo these procedures do so as a course of treatment for uterine cancer.
Hysterectomies and other treatments, like chemotherapy and immunotherapy, are recommended by doctors as effective treatments for early-stage uterine cancer.
So, on top of being an extremely distressing and painful illness to go through, uterine cancer can also cause significant damages, especially for younger female claimants in terms of loss of quality of life, mental anguish, lost wages, and medical bills.
Talk to Our Attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel Today!
Contact Rueb Stoller Daniel at 1-866-CALL-RSD now if you used a hair straightener product in the past and later received a uterine cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis. There may be a direct link, and you may be owed compensation by the manufacturers of these products that failed to warn consumers of the potential risks and dangers.
Remember, the more victims that speak out and file hair straightener lawsuits, the more likely it is that victims will win and receive compensation.