Our law firm handles hair relaxer lawsuits for uterine cancer and other consequences of hair relaxer products containing endocrine disruptors in all 50 states. These injuries include:
Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Millions of African American women in the U.S. use hair relaxer products regularly. New scientific research has found that the chemicals in hair relaxers can cause uterine cancer. Women who have used hair relaxer products for long periods and subsequently been diagnosed with uterine cancer are filing product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers and seeking compensation.
Our firm is accepting new cases from women who regularly used chemical hair relaxer products for five years or longer and were later diagnosed with uterine cancer and the other injuries listed above. Contact our office today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free case evaluation online.
Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit Updates
January 27, 2023 – Class Action Hearing Today
The MDL hearing to determine if there will be a hair relaxer class action lawsuit is today in Miami. The MDL Panel that decides these things will likely rule sometime in February. We have said before and will repeat it today: it is hard to imagine a scenario where an MDL is not granted in this litigation.
January 20, 2023 – More Suits Filed
Two more hair relaxer lawsuits were filed in federal courts yesterday. The first was filed in the Northern District of Illinois (the 10th hair relaxer case now pending in that distri,ct) and the secose was filed in the Western District of Washington (the first in that district). The pace of new hair relaxer lawsuits has increased dramatically since the start of the new with six new cases just in the last week. This litigation will explode.
January 17, 2023 – Hair Relaxer Litigation Update
The issue of whether to consolidate the hair relaxer lawsuits into a class action MDL will be taken up by the JPML later this month. The plaintiffs recently filed a response to tdefendant’s briefnts in opposition to the MDL.
The response correctly rebuts the defense argument that consolidation inappropriate because the hair relaxer lawsuits involve too many nt defendants. The response points out that the JPML regularly consolidates similar cases involving numerous defendants and products. The response also makes another pitch for why the MDL should be assigned to the Northern District of Illinois.
January 12, 2023 – Hair Straightener Lawsuits in 2023
Seven new hair relaxer product liability lawsuits have been filed in federal courts since the start of 2023. Four were filed in the Western District of Missouri and the others were filed in the Northern District of Ohio, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Eastern District of Louisiana. Uterine cancer was the primary injury alleged by five of the plaintiffs. The injuries alleged in the other two cases were ovarian cancer and uterine fibroids.
Does this mean that most hair relaxer lawsuits involve uterine cancer? No. Uterine cancer lawsuits make up about 15% of law firms’ cases. Most of our cases involve uterine fibroids where the woman needed a hysterectomy or other surgical procedure to treat the condition. But there is universal consensus that uterine cancer lawsuits have the strongest supporting science (the Sister Study we discuss below) and uterine cancer is obviously an awful consequence of using hair relaxers. So lawyers are filing uterine cancer lawsuits first because the early verdicts will have an impact on the settlement compensation victims receive.
January 4, 2023 – New Hair Relaxer Suit Filed in Missouri
A new hair relaxer causing uterine cancer lawsuit was filed yesterday in Missouri against:
- L’Oréal USA, Inc. (and L’Oréal USA Products, Inc.)
- SoftSheen-Carson LLC
- Strength of Nature Global, LLC (both Motions and Just for Me)
- Namaste Laboratories, LLC
The lawsuit blames these defendants’ hair care products because the chemicals in their hair straighteners led to her regular and prolonged (and unknown) exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (“EDCs”). The plaintiff worked in a hair salon for a time. She was diagnosed with endometrial carcinoma just a few months ago in September 2022.
January 2, 2023 – Hair Relaxer Class Action Reply Motion
The issue of whether to consolidate the hair relaxer lawsuits into a class action MDL will be taken up by the JPML later this month. The plaintiffs recently filed a reply to the brief filed by the defendants in opposition to the MDL.
The response correctly rebuts the defense argument that consolidation is not appropriate because the hair relaxer lawsuits involve too many different defendants. The response points out that the JPML regularly consolidates similar cases involving numerous defendants and products. The response also makes another pitch for why the MDL should be assigned to the Northern District of Illinois.
December 26, 2022 – More Hair Relaxer Suits Filed
At least five more hair relaxer lawsuits were filed in federal courts since the start of December. One of the hair straightener cases was filed in the Southern District of Ohio. The other lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of Illinois. Three of these chemical hair straightener lawsuits allege uterine cancer. The other two are uterine fibroids lawsuits.
There are now at least 15 hair relaxer personal injury cases and 3 hair relaxer consumer class action cases pending. The JPML is expected to rule on whether to consolidate these cases into a new hair relaxer class action lawsuit next month.
December 20, 2022 – Hearing Set on Hair Relaxer Class Action Request
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has scheduled a hearing for January 26, 2023, on the motion to consolidate all hair relaxer lawsuits in federal courts into a new class action MDL. L’Oreal and the other defendants are strongly opposed to MDL consolidation and will voice those objections at the hearing. There are already 15 hair relaxer lawsuits pending in federal courts and many more are expected, so the JPML is probably going to create an MDL. The primary question is where the MDL will be located.
December 14, 2022 – Defendants Oppose Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit
L’Oréal and its subsidiaries asked a panel of federal judges to reject a consolidated MDL hair relaxer lawsuit, arguing that a class action would “breed inefficiency” because the hair straightener lawsuits share little in common.
Really? Over a hundred women with uterine cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, or ovarian cancer contact our law firm every day. Their stories are amazingly similar.
L’Oréal can fight this. But a hair relaxer class action is inevitable.
November 29, 2022 – Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit
A new hair relaxer lawsuit – Gamble v. Strength of Nature Global, LLC, et al. (4:22-cv-00256) – was filed against L’Oreal and other defendants recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
The plaintiff, Keaira Gamble, alleges that she started using hair relaxer products made by the defendants at the age of just 6 and continuously used the products for the next 18 years.
The Complaint alleges that Gamble was diagnosed with uterine fibroids at age 22. The fibroids caused her extreme pain, and she underwent myomectomy surgery to remove them in 2011. In 2019, Gamble developed uterine fibroids again.
Her hair relaxer lawsuit asserts that Gamble’s uterine fibroids were caused by her continuous exposure to chemicals in hair relaxer products manufactured by L’Oreal and other defendants.
This is the first filed hair relaxer lawsuit alleging injuries other than uterine cancer.
November 26, 2022 – Medical Monitoring Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit
Last week, a new type of class action hair relaxer lawsuit was filed which seeks to force cosmetic companies to pay for a medical monitoring program for women who may be at risk from the harms of chemical hair relaxers.
The new medical monitoring lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in Michigan. The plaintiffs cite new research linking hair relaxer use to uterine cancer and other health conditions as grounds for requiring defendants like LÓreal to pay for a program that will monitor the long-term health of members of the plaintiff class.
This new hair relaxer case comes on the heels of the recent motion to consolidate the hair relaxer cancer cases into a new class action MDL. Our law firm is not involved in the medical monitoring suit. Our focus is on victims who have suffered meaningful injuries from hair relaxers.
November 18, 2022 – Class Action Sought
On Tuesday, lawyers representing a group of plaintiffs who have recently filed hair relaxer cancer lawsuits filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) requesting consolidation of the hair relaxer lawsuits into a new, class action MDL. This litigation is going to be big.
The motion notes that there are nine hair relaxer cases involving 13 individual plaintiffs pending in four different federal district courts. All of the cases allege that hair relaxer products caused uterine cancer. The motion requests that the MDL be assigned to Judge Mary Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
The defendants named in the motion include L’Oreal USA, Inc. and a handful of smaller, non-public companies. The defendants may roll over and agree to the MDL class action. It is inevitable. But their lawyers will probably request an alternative venue other than Chicago, Illinois that they view as more favorable.
Hair Relaxers Contain Harmful Chemicals
A hair relaxer is a product used primarily by African American women to make their hair lay flat and straighten. These products use a strong combination of chemicals that attack the protein structure of the hair, causing it to flatten and lay down.
Almost all hair relaxers contain chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalates are commonly referred to as “plasticizers” because they are chemicals that are durable to certain types of pliable plastics. Phthalates are widely used in various cosmetic products, including chemical hair relaxers. Phthalatroll overland so endocrine-disrupting chemicals (“EDCs”). EDCs are types of chemicals that impact and disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with hormone receptors.
Hair relaxers contain a phthalate chemical called Di-2- ethyl hexyl phthalate (“DEHP”). DEHP is a synthetic chemical that is not found naturally in the environment. It is biologically toxic. DEHP is considered a probable human carcinogen and it is known to cause significant adverse-health effects including developmental abnormalities and reproductive dysfunction and infertility.
If you are regularly using a product that most likely can cause cancer, isn’t that something consumers should be told? Shouldn’t it at least be listed on the ingredients of the product? You are seeing so many hair relaxer lawsuit television commercials because the negligence seems so obvious and the injuries to these women are very serious.
Chemicals in Hair Relaxer Can Cause Uterine Cancer
What is driving these chemical hair straightener lawsuits is new scientific evidence that has recently emerged which suggests that long-term use of hair relaxer products may cause increased rates of uterine cancer.
Uterine cancer (cancer of the uterus) is the 4th most common type of cancer in women. Each year, approximately 65,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. This accounts for about 3.5% of all cancer cases. The incidence rate of uterine cancer among black women is twice as high compared to white women in the U.S.
In October 2022, the results of a groundbreaking new medical study on the association between hair relaxers and cancer were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study took over 10 years and looked at the incidence rate of cancer among women who regularly used hair relaxers vs. women who never used hair relaxers.
The study found that women who used hair relaxers were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer compared to non-users. More than twice is a huge finding that has jump-started the hair relaxer litigation.
Even more significant, the incidence rate of uterine cancer increase was even higher among women who reported using hair relaxers more frequently.
In other words, the more hair relaxer the women used, the higher their risk of uterine cancer. This study marked the first epidemiologic evidence showing a clear and definitive connection between hair relaxers and uterine cancer.
Hair Relaxer Can Cause Ovarian Cancer
Each year only 20,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the U.S., making it relatively rare. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer only has a 5-year survival rate of 47%. This is mostly because ovarian cancer has very few symptoms in its earlier phases and is usually not diagnosed until the cancer has already spread.
In 2021, a research article from NIH reported that the results of a major long-term study found an association between the use of chemical hair relaxers and higher rates of ovarian cancer. The study showed that women who regularly used hair relaxer (more than 4 times per year) displayed a 50% increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits
Just a few weeks after the publication of the study linking chemical hair relaxers to uterine cancer, a product liability lawsuit was filed against several cosmetic companies alleging that their hair relaxers caused uterine cancer. The lawsuit (Mitchell v. L’Oreal, et al. – 1:22-cv-5815) was filed in federal court in Chicago. The plaintiff, Jenny Mitchell, is a Missouri resident who used chemical hair relaxers her entire life.
The lawsuit alleges that Mitchell started using hair relaxers when she was 10 years old. Like many black women in America, Mitchell used hair relaxer products every 6-8 weeks for the next 18 years. In 2018, when she was just 28 years old, Mitchell was diagnosed with uterine cancer.
The hair relaxer lawsuit filed by Jenny Mitchell is the first of what could potentially be thousands of new product liability lawsuits filed against cosmetic companies that manufacture chemical hair relaxers. These lawsuits will allege that the manufacturers knew, or should have known, that the chemicals in their products could increase the risk of uterine cancer.
What Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Settlement Amounts Should We Expect?
Assuming the causation evidence linking hair relaxers to uterine cancer is adequate, our lawyers believe that a strong case could have an average settlement payout of $300,000 with compensation ranging from $150,000 to $1,750,000. Cases with young plaintiffs could be worth significantly more because uterine cancer and other reproductive injuries typically result in permanent infertility.
Let’s point out the obvious. It is way too early to say with any degree of certainty how much hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuits could be worth at trial or in a settlement. So you should be skeptical of any lawyer making settlement amount predictions this early in the game. The first hair relaxer cancer lawsuits are just now getting filed. The scientific evidence on causation has not been tested in court.
So why provide a hair relaxer settlement payout estimate? Victims should know where lawyers’ heads are in terms of what a hair relaxer case is worth because knowing what the upside might be could inform their decision to move forward with bringing a lawsuit. We also think our readers are sophisticated enough to know that this is just an educated guess as to the settlement value of a hair relaxer lawsuit and these predictions could be way off even if the methodology behind the predictions is sound.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Hair Relaxer Lawsuits?
Every state has a statute of limitations that puts a deadline on how long you can wait before filing a lawsuit. If you don’t file your case before your state’s statute of limitations expires, you will lose the right to file your lawsuit.
The statute of limitations on tort claims like hair relaxer lawsuits might be anywhere from 2-6 years, depending on what state you live in. (Check the Statute of Limitations in all 50 States) Each state has a different time frame. If you are considering a hair relaxer lawsuit, the really important question is not how long the limitation period is, but when the statute of limitations period in your begins to run.
Almost all states follow some version of what is known as the “discovery rule” for determining when the statute of limitations begins to run on an injury lawsuit. Under this rule, the applicable limitation period does not necessarily begin to run on the date of the plaintiff’s injury. Instead, the SOL period starts running when the plaintiff actually discovers (or reasonably should have discovered) that they have grounds for a lawsuit.
Here is how this rule would apply in a typical hair relaxer lawsuit situation. Let’s say you used chemical hair relaxers most of your adult life and 7 years ago you were diagnosed with uterine cancer (or another injury linked to hair relaxer such as uterine fibroids). If your state has a 2-year statute of limitations does that mean it is too late for you to file a hair relaxer lawsuit since your diagnosis was 7 years ago?
In most states, it would not be too late to file a hair relaxer lawsuit based on the discovery rule. When you were first diagnosed with uterine cancer 7 years ago, you would have had no reason to think that your cancer was somehow related to hair relaxer. The connection between uterine cancer and chemical hair relaxer products did not become public knowledge until October 2022 were findings from the NIH Sister Study were published. This means that in states that follow the discovery rule (which is most of them), the statute of limitations on hair relaxer lawsuits did not begin to run until October 2022 at the earliest.
Unfortunately, however, there are some states in which it might be too late to file your hair relaxer lawsuit. For example, if your state does not follow the discovery rule then it means that the SOL period begins to run from the date of the injury (i.e., when you were diagnosed with uterine cancer). Certain states have something called a “statute of repose” which puts a maximum time limit (usually 7 years or more) on bringing a lawsuit regardless of whether the discovery rule applies or not.
Contact Us About a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Our lawyers are currently seeking product liability cases alleging that chemicals in hair relaxer products caused uterine cancer. If you have a potential claim, our attorneys want to help you. If you were diagnosed with uterine cancer or another reproductive injury after regularly using chemical hair relaxers, contact our law firm today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free case evaluation online.