Hair Relaxer Lawsuit: Updated for February 2023
Chemicals in hair straighteners and hair relaxers may cause cancer, according to recent studies. Now, women across America are filing hair relaxer lawsuits to try to recover compensation for all the damages these products caused, including hysterectomies, cancer, and so much more.
At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand that what you or your loved one is going through is not just some case or MDL or court hearing. This has affected real women—mothers, daughters, granddaughters, grammas, sisters, nieces, wives, friends, and so much more.
We understand that you have lives and hopes and dreams that were all disrupted by these corporations’ negligent actions. We get it and we want to help!
Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Lawyers: Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers
As a consumer, you should not have to worry that an FDA-approved product is causing carcinogens to leach into your body. Unfortunately, some defective products still make it to market.
Recently, scientists have been sounding the alarm about cancer-causing chemicals in hair relaxers, which have been linked to uterine cancer, breast cancer, and other reproductive health issues like endometriosis. Thousands of women in America—perhaps hundreds of thousands—have been dealing with all kinds of medical issues that have seriously damaged their lives and had no idea why it was happening. Most of them, perhaps, continued to use the very product that was likely hurting or killing them.
The hair relaxer lawyers at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers can help!
Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has been helping women file product liability claims to recover the costs associated with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To ensure that you have the best chance of maximizing your compensation, you should reach out to the qualified product liability attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.
Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about what to expect from the personal injury claims process and what your claim may be worth.
Jump to Updates on the Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit.
NIH Researchers Warn Women Against Heavy Use of Hair Relaxers
A growing number of product liability lawsuits have been filed against the makers of chemical hair relaxers for negligently failing to warn women that using these products can increase their risk of certain cancers and reproductive health issues. These accusations are based on recent findings from a number of studies that have raised concerns about the carcinogenic potential of chemical hair relaxers.
The foundation of multiple studies on chemical hair relaxer usage relied on data from the Sister Study. The Sister Study refers to a group of more than 50,000 women with a sister that had breast cancer who reported their health and personal habits for the purposes of identifying environmental and medical risk factors for cancer.
One NIH study determined that women who use chemical hair relaxers more than 4 times a year are doubling their risk of developing uterine cancer. Another study showed that frequent chemical hair relaxer usage increased a woman’s chances of breast cancer by 30%. These studies examined infrequent and frequent users. However, most women that use hair straighteners use them consistently.
For reference, most chemical hair relaxers last six to eight weeks, so a woman who wanted to keep her natural curls straightened could conceivably use a chemical hair relaxer between 6 and 8 times a year. In many cases, women use chemical hair relaxers over a period of years, or even decades.
How Chemical Hair Relaxers Cause Cancer
Researchers believe that the toxic chemicals in various hair relaxers are compromising women’s endocrine systems, which can lead to a hormone imbalance. The chemicals found in these hair relaxers are similar to the hormone estrogen, which can cause cancer in the female reproductive system when levels are abnormally high.
Cancer is the uncontrollable growth of damaged cells, which leach resources away from healthy cells, eventually causing organs and tissues to fail. In the case of women who have developed cancer from chemical hair relaxers, their entire reproductive systems may become compromised. There is also the added risk of cancer spreading from its original location and damaging other tissue.
Black women are at an elevated risk of developing certain reproductive system cancers, and they are less likely to survive these types of hormone-sensitive cancers as compared to women of other racial backgrounds. They are more likely to use chemical hair relaxers, and with a greater frequency. In effect, they have significantly higher exposure rates to toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which in turn increases their risk of developing cancer in their reproductive systems.
Specific Studies About Hair Relaxer Medical Concerns
Journal of the National Cancer Institute Warning
The National Institute of Environmental Health (NIH) published findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute warning that ingredients in hair relaxers may cause uterine cancer because they contain endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals.
- The study involved data from nearly 34,000 women between the ages of 35 and 74 and included a 10 year follow up.
- Researchers found an increased risk of uterine cancer in women who use hair relaxer compared to any other hair products and women who do not use any hair straightener products.
- 4% of women who use hair straightener products frequently developed uterine cancer
- To show the comparison, 1.6% of women who have never used a hair relaxer developed uterine cancer
Study Published by Oxford University
A 2021 study that was published in Carcinogenesis (an Oxford University journal) suggested a strong link between the use of hair relaxer and ovarian cancer. This study was mentioned above as the Sister Study.
- Data from more than 40,000 participants who used hair relaxers four or more times a year are almost twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer compared to never-use study participants.
Sister Study Shows Risk of Breast Cancer
Data from the “Sister Study” above also showed that women who used hair relaxers frequently faced a 30% increased risk of breast cancer.
African American At Risk
Researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute published findings in the medical journal Carcinogenesis that showed a relationship between the use of hair relaxer and breast cancer in African American women.
Companies Face Product Liability Lawsuits Over Toxic Chemicals Found in Hair Relaxers
While the studies that connected do not name one specific chemical as the culprit, several toxins are common to multiple chemical hair relaxer products. Several popular chemical hair relaxer brands have been named in product liability lawsuits, including:
- SoftSheen Carson
- Dabur International and Namaste Laboratories
- Godrej Consumer Products and Strength of Nature
Plaintiffs allege that these companies knew or should have known thorough testing that their products contained endocrine-disrupting chemicals. They argue that chemical hair relaxer makers’ refusal to issue or update the warning labels on their products constitutes negligence.
Plaintiffs will have to prove this assertion and demonstrate that their injuries and damages are directly related to the hair relaxer manufacturer’s negligence in order to hold chemical hair relaxer makers liable.
A law team well-versed in pharmaceutical lawsuits and product liability lawsuits can do just that.
Injuries Associated With Long-Term Use of Chemical Hair Relaxers
The damage caused by chemical hair relaxers’ endocrine-disrupting chemicals can irreparably harm a woman’s reproductive system.
In many cases, the best course of treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading is a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus, and often other parts of the female reproductive system. This renders a woman unable to have children. Depending on the type of hysterectomy, she may also enter menopause immediately.
In any case, a hysterectomy often has significant emotional consequences, in addition to the burden of physical recovery.
Examples of Chemical Hair Relaxer Injuries:
- Uterine cancer
- Uterine sarcoma
- Uterine fibroids
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
If you have developed symptoms associated with cancer of the reproductive system, such as extreme fatigue, unusual bleeding, or a new lump, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Not only is seeing a medical professional important for preventing your cancer from going untreated, but it is also essential to safeguarding any future claim for damages you may want to make.
If you have a record that you sought treatment from a medical provider, it denies defendants the opportunity to say that you intentionally allowed your health to worsen in order to receive a larger settlement, which could result in your claim being dismissed or diminished.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit?
Women who have developed cancer related to the use of hair relaxers will likely have to contend with financial repercussions while managing their physical and emotional health.
From handling transportation to doctors’ appointments to losing the ability to have children to maintaining a career, cancer of the reproductive system can take a massive physical and mental toll while causing significant financial instability.
Plaintiffs can—and should—seek compensation for these costs in a product liability lawsuit.
Examples of Damages – Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Hospital stays
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed promotions
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of parental guidance and instruction
- Funeral and burial expenses
Chemical Hair Relaxer Multidistrict Litigation
As of February 2023, the chemical hair relaxer lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation. After a hearing was held to give the plaintiffs and defendants the opportunity to provide oral arguments, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) determined that the chemical hair relaxer lawsuits met the qualifications to be considered as a multidistrict litigation.
The chemical hair relaxer lawsuits were assigned to the U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland, of the Northern District of Illinois.
Plaintiffs requested this action, arguing that their claims were founded on similar facts and they sustained similar injuries. The JPML ultimately sides with the plaintiffs, as the logistics of managing the chemical hair relaxer claims individually would be challenging.
Joining a multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows plaintiffs to coordinate during the discovery process and pre-trial proceedings, like by sharing expert witnesses. Individual plaintiffs will still receive compensation according to their personal losses.
The defendants were opposed to a multidistrict MDL. From their perspective, it was unfair to consider multiple chemical hair relaxer makers as defendants in the same MDL when the evidence that the plaintiffs were using to support their claim did not name individual brands, products, or chemicals as the cause of the hormone-sensitive cancers.
This is a common tactic by big companies and it didn’t work. The mass tort lawyers at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers have been handling MDLs and giant corporations for years.
Choose Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers to Represent You
Our team will unapologetically protect your right to seek compensation for damages. This includes investigation, gathering statements and evidence, conducting depositions and negotiations, hiring expert witnesses, and so much more.
If you were injured or made sick because of hair relaxers, you will be facing all these companies’ teams of lawyers. They will likely have greater access to critical resources and more manpower to make their case. You need to hire your own skilled legal team to represent your interest.
The product liability lawyers of Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers have years of experience maximizing compensation for injured clients. Our clients value our tenacity and skillful handling of complex personal injury claims, and they are quick to recommend us to their friends. Clients rely on Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers to advocate for their best interests, and we deliver.
Contact a Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawyer in Chicago, IL Today
Deciding to file a product liability lawsuit against an established company like L’oreal can be an intimidating process. The experienced personal injury attorneys of Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers will be by your side for every step.
We will fight to ensure that you are compensated for your monetary, physical, and emotional losses in a product liability lawsuit.
Women who have used chemical hair relaxers and developed hormone-sensitive cancers of the reproductive system may be entitled to recover compensation for their damages. Product liability claims have a statute of limitations in Illinois, which means that you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about your chemical hair relaxer claim as soon as possible.
You can trust the product liability lawyers of Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers to manage your hair relaxer lawsuit and pursue maximum compensation in negotiations and in court.
The hair relaxer attorneys of Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers encourage you to reach out to our team to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us at (312) 600-6000 or contact us online.
Latest Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit Updates
February 23, 2023 – More Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Have Been Filed
Since the start of February, over a dozen new hair relaxer lawsuits have been filed in federal courts. Most of these cases were filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the rest were filed in various other places. But as you may know, it has been decided that all cases will be consolidated in what is known as an MDL, so all these new cases will be transferred to the singular case.
February 8, 2023 – Hair Relaxer MDL Assigned to Judge Mary Rowland
The hair relaxer MDL has been assigned to Judge Mary Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Judge Rowland will oversee the new MDL which currently has about 60 cases pending but will likely grow by a significant amount.
February 6, 2023 – Request to Group All Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Approved
The request to have all hair relaxer class action lawsuits grouped into one case (known as an MDL) was approved today. All federal hair relaxer lawsuits will now be heard in one Illinois court.
February 5, 2023 – EPA Deems Chemicals in Hair Relaxer as Harmful
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to add certain chemicals found in hair relaxers to its list of harmful toxic chemicals. This will mean that the chemicals will be subject to increased regulations and reporting requirements. This is significant because the EPA’s decision to regulate these chemicals is based on evidence of their link to cancer, which supports the overall lawsuit against the manufacturers of hair relaxing chemicals.
February 2, 2023 – Ruling on Hair Relaxer Lawsuit MDL Expected This Week
A ruling from the board responsible for centralizing the hair relaxer cases into a new class action lawsuit (known as an MDL) is expected sometime this week.
January 27, 2023 – Class Action Hearing Today Regarding Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The panel that will determine if the hair relaxer lawsuits will be consolidated into an MDL met today in Miami. They will more than likely have a ruling sometime in February. As of now, it is our opinion that a Hair Relaxer MDL is very likely.
January 21, 2023 – More Suits Filed
Multiple more hair straightener lawsuits were filed in federal courts this week, proving that this case is only continuing to heat up.
January 17, 2023 – Hair Relaxer Plaintiffs Rebuff Defendant’s Motion
Later this month, the panel that will decide if the hair relaxer cases will be consolidated into an MDL will meet. The lawyers representing the injured parties (plaintiffs) recently filed a response to the hair relaxer manufacturers’ (defendants) briefs opposing the MDL.
The defendants filed a motion against an MDL stating that consolidation is inappropriate because the hair relaxer lawsuits involve too many defendants. However, the plaintiffs responded today with a motion that pointed out the obvious fact that cases involving numerous defendants and products are consolidated all the time. It is nothing new.
The plaintiffs also made their case for why the MDL should be assigned to the Northern District of Illinois.
January 15, 2023 – New Lawsuits Continue to Show Trend in Uterine Fibroids and Cancer
As the lawsuits filed against hair relaxer manufacturers continue to pile up, it is becoming increasingly clear that women all across the country experienced the same issues from the chemicals: uterine fibroids and uterine cancer. To be clear, most cases filed are for uterine fibroids, which caused women to suffer all kinds of damages including hysterectomies. Only about 15% of cases involve uterine cancer but these cases are important because they will impact how future cases (and the amount of compensation available) will play out.
January 14, 2023 – More Hair Straightener Lawsuits Filed in 2023
Seven new hair relaxer lawsuits have been filed in federal courts since the beginning of 2023. Uterine cancer continues to be the primary injury alleged by the plaintiffs.
December 26, 2022 – More Hair Relaxer Suits Filed
Five more hair relaxer lawsuits have been filed in federal courts since the start of December. Three of these hair straightener lawsuits allege uterine cancer and the other two allege uterine fibroids. There are now at least 15 product liability cases against hair relaxer manufacturers and three consumer class action cases pending. The JPML will decide to consolidate these cases into a class action lawsuit sometime in January or February.
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 strongly oppose 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 will probably create an MDL. The primary question is where the MDL will be located.
December 14, 2022 – Defendants Oppose Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit
The defendants in the hair relaxer lawsuits (the chemical manufacturers) asked a panel of federal judges to reject the MDL because the lawsuits have little in common. This is not true and it is highly unlikely to work. A hair relaxer class action is inevitable.
November 29, 2022 – First Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit Filed
The first hair relaxer lawsuit alleging injuries other than uterine cancer was filed this week. A new hair relaxer lawsuit filed against L’Oreal and other defendants alleges that she developed uterine fibroids because of her use of hair relaxers. The defendants claim that these fibroids caused her extreme pain, the need for myomectomy surgery, and recurrence after her first surgery.
The defendant—like all other women—did not know that continuous exposure to chemicals in hair relaxer products would cause any type of health issues.
November 26, 2022 – Medical Monitoring Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit
Because of increasing evidence about the link between hair relaxers and cancer, a group of women has filed a class action lawsuit against L’Oreal, Softsheen-Carson, and other chemical hair straighteners to pay for medical monitoring of women who may face an increased risk of uterine cancer, fibroids, and other injuries because of their products. These plaintiffs say L’Oreal and other companies should pay for the necessary medical monitoring they need to detect any such cancer as early as possible and get them the care they need.
These claims, if they move forward, will be handled separately from any other hair relaxer lawsuits.
November 20, 2022 – Specific Judge Requested for MDL and Plaintiffs Named
In the recent motion request for an MDL, lawyers requested that Judge Mary Rowland of the Northern District of Illinois (in Chicago) be appointed to the case. The defendants in the case were also named. They are L’Oréal and other smaller brands. It is likely that Pantene, Softsheen, and other brands may be included in the future.
These brands produce products like:
- Dark & Lovely
- Just For Me
- Soft and Beautiful
- Motions Hair Relaxer
- ORS Olive Oil
- and many more
November 17, 2022 – Class Action Lawsuit Sought for Hair Relaxer Cases
On Tuesday, lawyers representing the injured plaintiffs filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on mMultidistrict Litigation (JPML) requesting that all hair relaxer lawsuits be consolidated into a single class action MDL. The request is based on the fact that there are over a dozen individual cases across the country, all with the same facts: hair relaxer products caused women to suffer from uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, or other illnesses.