Hair straightener lawsuits are a complicated mix of science, medical health, and the law. As with most multidistrict litigation cases, expert witnesses play a crucial role in explaining these and related issues to juries. Without these witnesses, jurors may not fully understand the issues and why litigation matters so much to the victim.
Rueb Stoller Daniel is actively seeking women who became injured after using hair straightener products. As more claimants file and trials begin, expert witnesses will prove essential. We take a look at their potential role in these lawsuits.
What Are Expert Witnesses?
There are two broad categories of witnesses: lay and expert. Lay witnesses testify about facts. More specifically, they explain to courts what they personally saw, heard, or otherwise perceived. The testimony provided by these witnesses forms the factual record of a lawsuit. A lay witness is competent to testify about anything that an average individual can observe.
However, a lay witness is not usually competent to testify about highly technical subjects that require specialized knowledge. This is the proper role of an expert witness. These individuals explain to juries and judges complex subjects that the average person is not familiar with. By doing this, they help prove the plaintiff’s case or refute the defendant’s arguments.
Expert Witnesses and Hair Straightener Lawsuits
There may be a wide variety of expert witnesses who are called upon to give testimony in hair straightener lawsuits. While it’s not possible to predict all types of expert witnesses who may testify, these are some likely ones.
According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a link exists between hair relaxers and uterine cancers. Other cancers and diseases may be connected to these products as well. Women who use these products at least four times a year may especially be at risk.
Scientific expert witnesses explain the science underlying the dangers of hair straightener products. They can discuss which chemicals are in these products and the health hazards they pose. They may also explain how these products could have been made safer.
A medical expert witness explains topics that largely overlap with the above. They may, for example, talk about the harmful chemicals used in hair relaxers. But they go further and detail the health problems women may experience. A discussion of the various cancers and their impacts on victims is likely. Finally, a medical expert witness may talk about the likely prognosis and treatments victims should expect.
This information is critical in seeking future damages, because cancer treatments are expensive. And depending on how long they last, a victim could potentially pay significant sums of money. If the hair straightener manufacturer is held liable for the victim’s injuries, that company should bear these costs.
Vocational experts can talk about how much future income a victim may lose due to her injuries. For instance, becoming sick with cancer or another disease could cut a career short. The victim may pass away or be forced into early retirement. It’s also possible the victim will be unable to work the same career in the future. So these experts can discuss possible alternative career paths victims may be compelled to take.
All of this translates to substantial sums of lost money and benefits. Career advancements, retirement benefits, discounted health insurance, bonuses, and more could be off the table. A party responsible for causing these future losses should be ordered to compensate the victim for them.
Trust Our Network of Hair Straightener Expert Witnesses
Rueb Stoller Daniel understands the critical role expert witnesses play in litigation. That’s why we have a reliable network of witnesses who can testify about the above and other matters.
If you were harmed by a hair relaxer product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Call our attorneys today to learn more.