As of July 2023, there are 236 ongoing hair relaxer lawsuits in the class action MDL linking these products with different types of cancer.
These hundreds of families across the country have filed lawsuits against hair relaxer manufacturers in order to address concerns about potential risks associated with these products. These lawsuits state that there is a link between hair relaxer chemicals that may be endocrine disruptors (EDCs). Exposure to chemicals that impact the endocrine system can have adverse health effects for its users, mainly curly hair women.
If you or someone you know has used these products and experienced cancer, you may qualify to file a claim for hair relaxer cancer in search for a potential settlement.
Seek legal advice for free and promote awareness among women about the risks associated with these cosmetic products.
What is the current status of the hair relaxer litigation in 2023?
2023 is an important year for the hair relaxer cancer lawsuit. As an increasing number of women discover that their health issues, such as uterine cancer and uterine fibroids, are related to hair relaxers and its dangerous chemicals, they are running to join the Multi-district Litigation.
These women, particularly black women, expect that this year will bring them closer to a hair relaxer settlement. After years of negligence from the manufacturers of these hair care products, this will be great news for them.
The defense lawyers in the hair relaxer class action are requesting a bifurcation of the discovery plan from the MDL. They propose that the initial phase of the discovery process solely focuses on causation and the evidence connecting hair relaxers to cancer. All other issues would be postponed until this phase is finished. The hair relaxer plaintiffs are against this plan because it would prolong the litigation, which aligns with the defense lawyers’ intentions.
The plaintiffs filed a Master Complaint in federal court, which is a document that encompasses the shared allegations from multiple individual lawsuits. In this case, the allegations involve the harm caused by continuous exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxer.
The hair relaxer class action MDL has over 200 pending cases, with 38 new hair relaxer cancer cases filed in the last two weeks of March. Judge Mary M. Rowland issued an order allowing any plaintiff whose case qualifies for inclusion in the MDL to file it directly in the Northern District of Illinois.
At the beginning of the month, Judge Rowland held the first status conference to form the first plaintiff steering committee.
Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann, the first legal representative to file a uterine cancer lawsuit, was appointed as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel in the MDL against L’Oréal and other manufacturers of hair relaxer products marketed primarily to black women.
Finally, a decision was taken. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order to create MDL No. 3060, and the class action lawsuit was assigned to Judge Mary Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois. Consequently, after the MDL was created, 24 hair relaxer lawsuits were filed in just one week, making it the highest weekly volume of new claims to date.
After a month, the hearing took place, and the JPML reached an agreement: in one month, they will decide if an MDL is granted as requested by the plaintiff’s side lawyers.
Judge Mary Rowland’s appointments for an MDL team are notable for being the most diverse group of plaintiffs to lead such a team in a US District Court.
When did the chemical hair relaxer lawsuits start?
As investigators came to realize that hair straightening products were related to increased cancer risk among American women, users of these items started to pay attention to their health issues after prolonged exposure.
Consequently, the first complaint against L’Oréal and all the other manufacturers was filed around the same time an important study was published. The National Institute of Health conducted research and found shocking results. According to the results, frequent users of chemical hair relaxers were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer as opposed to those who did not use these hair products. This fact was specifically alarming for black women, who report more regular use of chemical hair relaxer products than other populations.
This is how, in October 2022, Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann, mass tort counsel, filed a hair relaxer claim on behalf of Jenny Mitchell, a 32 years-old woman. Mitchell alleges that her uterine cancer was caused by long-term use and prolonged exposure to hair relaxers containing phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The defendants on this claim are L’Oréal USA, Strength of Nature LLC, Dabur International, Avalon Industries, and Revlon.
How the hair relaxer class action lawsuit evolved in 2022?
As was expected, hair relaxer manufacturers stated their opposition to the centralization of the lawsuits. Nevertheless, the JPML went through and scheduled a hearing on the motion to consolidate all the claims in one court.
Following the first steps towards accountability, a group of plaintiffs got together and filed a motion with the U.S. JPML. They asked for all hair relaxer lawsuits to be centralized before the U.S. District Court.
Furthermore, as previously mentioned, this led to the filing of the first of many lawsuits against manufacturers of chemical hair relaxer products.
Current eligibility on the hair relaxer product liability lawsuit
As the incidence of cancer in women who used hair relaxers and hair straightener products increased, so did the Hair Relaxer MDL.
Therefore, if you or a loved one developed uterine cancer, fibroids, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, or other health issues after using these defective products over a period of time, you can pursue legal options.
You can seek free legal advice from experienced hair relaxer attorneys and take legal action. This will help you determine your eligibility for a claim and guide you through the filing process.