The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has consolidated product liability claims against the hair relaxer manufacturers into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois.
The litigants launched this MDL after filing lawsuits against manufacturers like L’Oreal for failure to warn of the elevated risk of cancer and reproductive health problems linked with their products.
You might file a product liability claim if you were diagnosed with cancer after using the defective chemical hair relaxers. We advise you to immediately contact a product liability attorney to join the ongoing MDL.
Plaintiffs Allege Chemical Hair Relaxers Contain Cancer-Causing Chemicals
Current studies show that regular hair relaxers may greatly increase a woman’s risk of getting hormone-sensitive malignancies and other problems with her reproductive system.
According to NIH experts, a woman’s lifetime risk of acquiring uterine cancer doubles if she uses hair relaxers at least four times per year. Several studies have correlated regular use of hair relaxers to reproductive health problems, such as:
Women who use hair relaxers have had substantial economic losses, mental health problems, and issues with their health.
Women from all over the nation have brought product liability cases against hair relaxer manufacturers to recoup the cost of these damages.
They assert that the manufacturers were negligent in their quality checks or may have known their products had carcinogenic compounds but never warned customers.
Hair Relaxer Plaintiffs File a Motion to Establish a Multidistrict Litigation
Four plaintiffs from two regions filed the motion asking that the hair relaxer lawsuits be considered for multidistrict litigation (MDL). These plaintiffs represented other hair relaxer litigants, including nine lawsuits from four districts.
A total of 44 more hair relaxer lawsuits have been lodged in 15 other districts. Plaintiffs would benefit from an MDL because it would reduce the complexity of the discovery phase and guarantee identical verdicts and settlement results.
The JPML approves multidistrict litigation request
The JPML issued a verdict in support of plaintiffs suing the producers of hair relaxers for negligence after determining that their request satisfied the MDL criteria.
The panel observes that the litigants suffered related injuries and that the lawsuits involve similar factual issues. They also observed that the following issues of fact were present in each allegation made by the plaintiffs:
- Are the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in hair relaxers harmful to the female reproductive system?
- Did the accused know the potential harm that their products might cause?
- In that case, when did the accused learn that their hair relaxers were harming their clients?
- Did the accused rigorously test their products before advertising them to customers without warning labels, and did they closely monitor their products’ effect on customers after selling them?
According to the JPML, an MDL is necessary to streamline the discovery phase because litigants would probably retain the same professional witnesses to support their cases.
The JPML also stated that merging the hair relaxer lawsuits will settle the pretrial concerns. For instance, treating the lawsuits as an MDL would allow both parties to decide on what amounts of EDC exposure are dangerous.
JPML Addresses Defendant’s Objections to the MDL
Some well-known hair relaxer manufacturers are among the accused. The organizations listed so far include:
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- Namaste Laboratories and Dabur International
- L’Oreal and SoftSheen Carson
- Strength of Nature and Godrej SON Holdings
- Parfums de Coeur
- PDC Brands
- House of Cheatham
All defendants who reacted to the plaintiff’s motion for consolidation opposed the creation of an MDL. The JPML responded to the defendants’ objection to consolidating the hair relaxer lawsuits in its transfer order (PDF).
First, the defendants claimed that these hair relaxer lawsuits involved numerous rival manufacturers. They also stated that the plaintiffs used various hair straightening products throughout their lives.
The JPML acknowledges that no specific harmful ingredients or products have been attributed to the litigants’ injuries. Most of them used L’Oreal products and, in many cases, more than one product produced by different defendants.
It would be time-consuming for the courts to assess each hair relaxer lawsuit individually, considering the use of several identical hair relaxer products.
The JPML further noted that lawsuits filed had increased to 53 spread across the United States and that an MDL makes their investigation more practical and efficient.
JPML Transfers Hair Relaxer Multidistrict Litigation to Illinois
The JPML decided that the Northern District of Illinois would serve as the venue for the hair relaxer litigation following the oral arguments and debate hearing.
The Honorable Mary M. Rowland will supervise the MDL. She currently oversees two cases and has 16 other hair relaxer lawsuits under her jurisdiction.
Most plaintiffs suggested the Northern District of Illinois, and those who asked for other venues were not opposed to the Northern District of Illinois as a choice.
The Northern District of Illinois was the second choice, according to the defendants’ attorneys, who preferred the Southern District of New York.
Given the plaintiffs’ location, the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ choices, and the logistics of getting key expert witnesses and interested parties to court, this was deemed a fair compromise.
Future hair relaxer lawsuits comparable to those pending in the Northern District of Illinois may be included in the MDL.
Contact Legal Giant for Help with Your Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The burden of handling a product liability lawsuit would be too much for a woman diagnosed with uterine cancer or other reproductive health problem after using defective hair straighteners.
That is where you let Legal Giant help. We partner with skilled attorneys who will uphold your legal rights and get you a fair settlement that mirrors your damages.
Our partner product liability attorneys are ready to take your hair relaxer lawsuit to trial. You can have faith that they will put up unrelenting effort to maximize your settlement and hold the negligent entities liable.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility for a hair relaxer MDL today.